It’s Christmas Night and the White Sox have provided us with yet another gift in what has been a very exciting off-season. Also, because it’s Christmas, you’re getting the write up from the guy with no kids who was just drinking rye with his new death star ice cubes and watching Trading Places when this went down.
What to dislike
It would be tough to dislike the addition of Edwin Encarnacion, but if you’re looking for reasons to, these would be why you did not like it:
You’re a Zack Collins stan. You are likely upset because this will definitely delay him getting plate appearances in the MLB.
You hate players with no position. This is the case here. Edwin is a DH and will not be in the field. I do love that when he played third base, his nickname was E5.
You don’t like the elderly. I get it, Edwin is almost 37 years old. Who cares? I’m 39 and I look and feel incredible, why can’t someone two years my younger be the same. Not to mention, we all saw what Nelson Cruz did at age 38 last year.
What to love
There is a lot to love about the way Edwin handles the bat. First off, and the most obvious, is that he hits a lot of bombs. The last time he didn’t hit at least 30 HRs in a season was 2011. Do you remember 2011? Bridesmaids had just been released, Oprah was still on the air, and Charlie Sheen was still relevant. That all seems like a lifetime ago.
Second, he hits RHP just as well as LHP. We’ve heard a lot about adding left handed hitters to the lineup, but really what is trying to be said is that we need guys that can hit right handed pitching. Edwin’s career splits show him to be better against lefties, but still very good against righties.
Last, he generates offense. Last year, according to FanGraphs OFF stat, the White Sox DH position was worth -43 runs (batting and base running). In about 300 less PAs, Edwin was worth 19.3. That’s a roughly 60 run difference he’d make. The stat calculates a win for every 10 runs. Using that calculation, the offense he creates would have been worth roughly 6 wins to the Sox last year.
I very much get that he is an aging player in a league that is less forgiving to its elders post-steroid era. However, his addition should lead to the White Sox getting above league average production at a position that has been a massive struggle for them in recent years. And with this being a one year contract with an option that still doesn’t put the Sox at $120M, you have to feel good about.