Cabrera, who is represented by Octagon, avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $4.55MM this offseason. This new contract would buy out his final year of arbitration eligibility as well as one free agent season.
The 26-year-old enjoyed a breakout season in 2011, batting .273/.332/.460 with a career-high 25 home runs and 17 stolen bases. Cabrera has made several notable highlight defensive plays over the past few seasons, but Ultimate Zone Rating hasn't been a fan of his defense at shortstop, pegging him at -12.6 runs below average per 150 games in 2011.
When examining Cabrera's extension candidacy this offseason (prior to his arbitration settlement), MLBTR's Tim Dierkes suggested a four-year, $27MM would make sense for both sides. If the extension goes through at $16.5MM, Tim's $6.75MM average annual value would be close, though for one fewer year; the Indians would control Cabrera for three years at $21.05MM — slightly more than $7MM per season.