The Indians are next in our arbitration eligibles series.
- First time: Justin Masterson, Jack Hannahan
- Second time: Shin-Soo Choo, Chris Perez, Asdrubal Cabrera, Joe Smith
- Third time: Fausto Carmona, Rafael Perez
Carmona would be arbitration eligible if the Indians decline his $7MM club option. He hasn't been great in terms of the categories that earn pitchers big bucks in arbitration, but he's done enough for the option to represent about $1MM in savings.
The Indians' group doesn't appear to have any non-tender candidates. Masterson projects to a healthy $4MM for his first time. Choo had been on the fast track to big arbitration earnings, but this year's dismal counting stats may keep him under $5MM for 2012. Perez's first 30+ save season should allow him to jump to $4.3MM. Cabrera's power surge should push him to $4.9MM or so. Hannahan, Smith, and Perez each project to fall in the $1.4-1.9MM salary range.
Assuming Carmona's option is exercised, these eight players should cost about $30MM in 2012. If the Indians pick up Grady Sizemore's option as well, they'll be around $56MM. That commitment is firmly in the middle of their last two Opening Day payrolls, though it doesn't account for minimum salary players.
Matt Swartz contributed to this post.