En­car­nación, White Sox com­plete $12 mil­lion, 1-year con­tract

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - AP Sports Writer

By An­drew Selig­man

CHICAGO (AP) >> Ed­win En­car­nación and the White Sox fi­nal­ized a $12 mil­lion, one-year con­tract on Thurs­day, putting him in po­si­tion to be­come Chicago’s des­ig­nated hitter and a part-time first base­man along with José Abreu.

En­car­nación is due $12 mil­lion this sea­son, and the White Sox hold a $12 mil­lion op­tion for 2021 un­der the deal, which was agreed to Dec. 25 sub­ject to a suc­cess­ful phys­i­cal.

En­car­nación hit 34 home runs in 109 games for Seat­tle and the Yan­kees last year. The three-time Al­lS­tar led the Amer­i­can League with 21 homers when the Mariners dealt him to New York in June. The Yan­kees de­clined a $25 mil­lion op­tion for next sea­son, opt­ing to pay a $5 mil­lion buy­out.

En­car­nación bat­ted .249 with 13 homers and 37 RBIs in 44 reg­u­lar-sea­son games with the Yan­kees, lim­ited by oblique prob­lems. He hit .308 while New York beat Min­nesota in the AL Divi­sion Se­ries, but was 1 for 18 with 11 strike­outs in the AL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries against Hous­ton.

En­car­nación, who turned 37 on Tues­day, has eight straight sea­sons with more than 30 homers. He has 414 homers in 15 years with Cincin­nati, Toronto, Cleve­land, Seat­tle and New York. Last year he be­came the first ma­jor lea­guer to play on three con­ti­nents in one sea­son, open­ing the sea­son in Tokyo with the Mariners and go­ing to London in June with the Yan­kees.

“Ed­win is a pro­fes­sional hitter, some­one who makes each and ev­ery at-bat count,” gen­eral Rick Hahn said in a state­ment. “His long track record of power is im­pres­sive and as a vet­eran run pro­ducer, Ed­win adds an­other threat­en­ing bat to our lineup, length­en­ing our bat­ting or­der and in­creas­ing (man­ager) Rick Ren­te­ria’s of­fen­sive op­tions on any given night.”

The White Sox have been one of base­ball’s busiest teams, ad­ding to a promis­ing young core. They hope to chal­lenge in the AL Cen­tral af­ter seven straight los­ing sea­sons.

Chicago also signed catcher Yas­mani Gran­dal and pitch­ers Dal­las Keuchel, Gio González and Steve Cishek to free-agent deals. Out­fielder No­mar

Mazara was ac­quired in a trade with the Texas Rangers.

Abreu, who led the AL with 123 RBIs last sea­son, was re-signed to a $50 mil­lion, three-year deal, and top prospect Luis Robert agreed to a $50 mil­lion, six-year con­tract last week, clear­ing the way for the out­fielder to be­gin the sea­son in the ma­jors.

The White Sox were 7289 last sea­son, well be­hind the 101-win Min­nesota Twins and 93-win Cleve­land Indians. 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 year. Yoán Mon­cada had a break­through sea­son, hit­ting .315 with 25 homers and 79 RBIs. Eloy Jiménez 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.

SETH WENIG - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2019, file photo, New York Yan­kees des­ig­nated hitter Ed­win En­car­nación runs down the first base line af­ter hit­ting a dou­ble against the Min­nesota Twins dur­ing the first in­ning of Game 1 of a base­ball Amer­i­can League Divi­sion Se­ries in New York.

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