Arbitration Eligibles: Cleveland Indians

A look at the Indians players who will be eligible for arbitration after the season:

Laffey, Marte, Smith, and Reyes have not impressed this year, so they're non-tender candidates.  They wouldn't be too expensive to retain, but the Indians still might prefer to cut them loose or try to re-sign them to minor league deals.  Rafael Perez figures to be tendered a contract, as he's building off a salary of just $795K and has excelled at least in getting groundballs.

Choo, Cabrera, and Chris Perez are the major cases for the Indians.  Choo, a Scott Boras client, should jump up past $3MM.  Josh Hamilton, who earns $3.25MM in his first arbitration year, could be a decent comparable.  If not for Boras, Choo would be a good extension candidate.  The Indians may prefer to wait a year with Cabrera, who missed two months this season with a broken left forearm.  On the other hand, Cabrera has shown no ill effects in 36 games since his return, and perhaps the appeal of multiyear security would enable the Tribe to get a big discount. 

If we're correct about the Super Two cutoff being around 2.125, Chris Perez will qualify.  There's no rush to lock him up, unless the Indians think a full year of racking up saves in 2011 would artificially inflate his future salaries. 



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