Slugger Edwin Encarnacion and the Chicago White Sox are in agreement on a one-year deal for $12 million with a club option for 2021 at $12 million, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.
Dominican Republic reporter Yancen Pujols first reported that Encarnacion, who turns 37 next month, was joining the White Sox.
Encarnacion batted .244 in 109 games last season with the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees. The Yankees acquired the three-time All-Star from Seattle in June to bolster a lineup sapped by injuries. Cash from the Mariners in the trade meant the deal cost New York just $8 million of the $25 million he was owed in 2020, including a $5 million buyout.
Encarnacion was leading the American League with 21 homers at the time, but a strained left oblique limited the first baseman and designated hitter down the stretch. He hit .249 with 13 homers, 37 RBIs and an .856 OPS in 44 regular-season games with New York.
He hit .308 while the Yankees pounded the Minnesota Twins in the AL Division Series, but he slumped badly in the AL Championship Series against the Houston Astros.
Encarnacion has averaged 37 homers and 106 RBIs since 2012 and helped slug the Toronto Blue Jays to back-to-back appearances in the ALCS in 2015 and 2016. His 239 homers in Toronto ranks third behind Carlos Delgado (336) and Jose Bautista (265) on the Blue Jays’ career list.
His three-run drive in the 11th inning to beat the Baltimore Orioles in the wild-card game in the 2016 playoffs gave Toronto one of its most indelible moments since Joe Carter’s World Series walk-off handed the Blue Jays a second consecutive title in 1993.
Through his 14th season, Encarnacion has a career .263 average with 414 home runs and 1,242 RBIs for Cincinnati, Toronto, Cleveland, Seattle and the Yankees.
The White Sox have been loading up around a promising young core, hoping to challenge in the AL Central after seven consecutive losing seasons. Encarnacion joins former AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel and catcher Yasmani Grandal as big-money additions this offseason.
The White Sox agreed Saturday to a $55.5 million, three-year deal with Keuchel, a day after finalizing a one-year contract with two-time All-Star pitcher Gio Gonzalez. They also brought back Jose Abreu on a $50 million, three-year deal and acquired outfielder Nomar Mazara from the Texas Rangers.
The White Sox were 72-89 last season, well behind the 101-win Twins and 93-win Cleveland Indians in their division. But they believe they are in position to make a big jump after missing the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 years since their 2005 World Series championship. That’s because young players established themselves in the majors and promising prospects remain in the pipeline.
Tim Anderson led the majors with a .335 average last season. Yoan Moncada had a breakthrough year, hitting .315 with 25 homers and 79 RBIs. Eloy Jimenez showed pop as a rookie, with a .267 average, 31 homers and 79 RBIs. Prized outfielder Luis Robert figures to debut next spring, and top prospect Nick Madrigal might also be ready to get significant time at second base.
Keuchel and Gonzalez will join a rotation led by All-Star Lucas Giolito that also includes Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease. Promising young right-hander Michael Kopech is also expected to return following Tommy John surgery.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.