3. When the Indians signed Edwin Encarnacion last winter, they knew he#8217;d be a big part of their free agent investment for a few years. In 2017, Encarnacion made $14.7 million. This season, it#8217;s $18.7 million. In 2019, it#8217;s $22 million and he has $5 million guaranteed in 2020 based on a $20 million salary.
The Indians correctly believe pitching is what makes them a contender in the American League. That#8217;s why they worked so hard to sign their key pitchers.
This is how the Indians view their payroll situation.
That has hurt off-season ticket sales. The Indians are ahead of a year ago, but it#8217;s not the tidal wave of enthusiasm that could have come from a deep playoff run. They had built momentum during the 22-game winning streak leading to a 102-60 final record.