This is not something you see every day: Jon Heyman reports that Edwin Encarnacion‘s new contract with the Indians has a clause via which he can get around $1 million a year extra based on the Indians’ attendance numbers.
It’s not hard to see why the Indians would gladly pay for that. They’ve have had four straight winning seasons and are coming off of a World Series trip, but they have consistently been near the bottom of the league in attendance. They were 28th in the majors in 2016, outdrawing only Oakland and Tampa Bay. They were 29th in both 2014 and 2015. The last time they weren’t either 28th or 29th was 2011, in fact. They have not drawn two million fans since 2008.
Can Encarnacion help boost attendance? It’s hard to see how a single player can move the needle too much by himself. At the same time it may be easy money for him. Even if the Indians do have a lot of trouble drawing people, even after good years, a World Series appearance is a step above that. It, in and of itself is likely going to improve things a good bit, and when it does, Encarnacion can take the cash and credit.
It’s not a major thing of course — his base salary is 20 times any incentive he can get — but it’s interesting all the same.