By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) – Free agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion is undergoing a medical evaluation, the final step before he joins the Cleveland Indians.
Encarnacion agreed to a $65 million, three-year contract with the AL champions before Christmas. Barring unforeseen physical issues, the Indians would welcome him at a news conference on Thursday.
Cleveland aggressively pursued Encarnacion, swooping in to lock up the coveted power hitter who was also being chased by big-market clubs. Encarnacion hit 42 homers and drove in 127 runs last season for the Toronto Blue Jays, who lost to the Indians in the AL Championship Series.
Encarnacion, who turns 34 on Saturday, has hit 193 homers over the past five years and 310 in his big league career. He is expected to split time at first base and designated hitter with Carlos Santana.
Encarnacion spent eight seasons with Toronto after five in Cincinnati.
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