Arbitration Eligibles: Cleveland Indians

The Indians are next in our arbitration eligibles series.

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.

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3 Comments on "Arbitration Eligibles: Cleveland Indians"

3 years 11 months ago

I don’t know if its sure thing that Grady’s option will be picked up.  He hasn’t been completely healthy for about 3 years now and his speed looks to be severely diminished and that makes 9 million dollars look like a hefty price.  He’s no longer a threat on the base paths and in the field really looks like he has lost a step.  He never did hit for the highest average and even though he has the potential to reach 60+ extra base hits in a season health concerns and a low average maybe too risky for a team on a limited payroll that needs to cut down on its swings and misses.

To be honest Kosuke Fukedome has been a breath of fresh air.  He doesn’t have the HR potential anywhere near Grady but he’s hitting for a decent average, getting on base and despite a few miscues in the field looks to be an overall solid defender. Depending on his contract demands he could make a good cheaper alternative to Grady’s option. I think at this point Kosuke @3-4.5 million > Grady @ 9 million.

However it would scare me to death letting Grady go for nothing because he does have the ability to hit for power (32 extra base hits in 236 ab) and he was such a great player for 4 years that it would be hard to watch him leave.

3 years 11 months ago

if they believe in sizemore’s talent (as most do), it makes sense to bring him back in the hopes that he’ll have a strong first-half in 2012 and can be traded for something of value. or, if his first-half is really strong and they’re contending, he can just be kept. $9M isn’t that much to pay for a player with his ceiling

3 years 11 months ago

I agree that it’s not a sure thing, but pressed to make a prediction I think it will be exercised.