Basic conclusion is that our payroll will be higher than this year's simply based on arbitration estimates as well as exercising Sizemore and Carmona's contracts. Will be very interesting to see how much Dolan is willing to spend in the off-season to improve the team. I'm wondering if Smith/R. Perez will be trade bait, as well as wondering if they'll really bring back Hanahan next season.
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/09/a ... dians.html
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.