The Indians are discussing a multi-year deal with free agent infielder Edwin Encarnacion, according to Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Talks between the two sides are “serious,” according to Hoynes, though it doesn’t seem a deal is imminent. Cleveland’s interest in Encarnacion was initially reported Monday.
Cleveland is in need of infield depth because Mike Napoli became a free agent at the end of the season, and as a result, the Indians are in need of a first baseman. While signing Napoli remains a reasonable option, the Indians seem focused on signing Encarnacion.
Encarnacion received a qualifying offer from the Blue Jays, and as a result, some teams might be hesitant to add him because they would be forced to part with a draft pick.
If the Indians are able to land Encarnacion, he would likely split time at first base with Carlos Santana. Still, Encarnacion, who batted .263 over 160 games last season, would receive the majority of the playing time.