GOODYEAR, Ariz. — As fans lining the chain-linked fence next to Cleveland’s main practice field jockeyed for better position to snatch an autograph or selfie with the team’s newest star, Edwin Encarnacion showed no emotion.
With his glove balanced on his head, Encarnacion signed baseballs, bats, cards and whatever else was thrust in front of him. He didn’t seem to be enjoying himself and appeared disinterested, distant.
That’s when one fan pleaded for a little more, saying “You know you can smile. You’re with Cleveland now.”
On cue, Encarnacion beamed a smile that brightened an otherwise gray day in the desert.
Encarnacion signed a three-year, $60 million free agent contract with the club during the offseason after eight seasons in Toronto. His power and presence makes the AL champions favorites to get back to the World Series.