CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on a one-year, $12-million contract with three-time All-Star first baseman/designated hitter Edwin Encarnación, which includes a club option for 2021. Under terms of the agreement, Encarnación will receive $12 million in 2020, while the White Sox hold a $12-million option for 2021 which does not include a buyout.
Encarnación, who turned 37 on January 7, batted .244/.344/.531 (102-418) with 34 home runs, 86 RBI and 81 runs scored over 109 games last season between Seattle and New York-AL. His 34 home runs tied for 12th in the American League and marked his eighth straight season with 30 or more, the longest active streak in the major leagues.
Among players with at least 475 plate appearances in 2019, Encarnación ranked second in the AL in pitches per plate appearance (4.42), third in RBI ratio (4.86) and fifth in home run ratio (12.29). He began the season with the Mariners before being traded to the Yankees on June 15 with cash considerations in exchange for pitcher Juan Then.
“Edwin is a professional hitter, someone who makes each and every at-bat count,” said Rick Hahn, White Sox general manager. “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 Rick Renteria’s offensive options on any given night.”
Encarnación is a career .263/.352/.499 (1,807-6,881) hitter with 365 doubles, 414 home runs, 1,242 RBI, 1,080 runs scored and 887 walks in 1,916 games over 15 major-league seasons with Cincinnati (2005-09), Toronto (2009-16), Cleveland (2017-18), Seattle (2019) and the Yankees (2019).
Since 2012, Encarnación leads the major leagues with 297 home runs and 850 RBI and ranks among the leaders in home run ratio (2nd, 13.97), RBI ratio (4.88), extra-base hits (6th, 501), total bases (7th, 2,196), slugging percentage (7th, .529), walks (7th, 617) and OPS (13th, .892). During that eight-year span, he tops the majors in 30-homer seasons (eight), 100-RBI seasons (six) and 30-homer/100-RBI seasons (six).
Encarnación has hit 30-plus home runs eight times (2012-19) and 40-plus twice (42 in 2012 and 2016 with Toronto), and has recorded six seasons with 100 or more RBI, including an AL-best 127 with the Blue Jays in 2016. Among active players, he ranks second in grand slams (12), third in home runs and multihomer games (36), fourth in RBI, sixth in runs scored and seventh in games played.
Encarnación has played in each of the last five postseasons, recording four home runs and 16 RBI over 34 games with Toronto (2015-16), Cleveland (2017-18) and the Yankees (2019).
To make room for Encarnación on the 40-man roster, the White Sox designated left-hander Kodi Medeiros for assignment.
The White Sox 40-man roster remains at 40.