The Cleveland Indians signed five of their seven arbitration eligible players today, leaving just two players unsigned for the upcoming 2012 season. Shin-Soo Choo, Justin Masterson, Chris Perez, Joe Smith, and Jack Hannahan all agreed to terms on one-year deals, with Asdrubal Cabrera and Rafael Perez being the two without contracts.
All five players received substantial raises. Per Indians Prospect Insider's Tony Lastoria, the five that combined to make $8.068M in 2011 will make $16.11M in 2012. Shin-Soo Choo tops the list at $4.9M, a raise of just under $1M. Chris Perez will make $4.5M in 2012, slightly more than doubling the $2.225M he made in 2011. Justin Masterson gets the largest raise, agreeing to a $3.825M deal, dwarfing the $468,400 he made last season. Joe Smith will earn $1.75M in 2012, about double what he made last season. Finally, Jack Hannahan will make $1.135M, a nice bump from the $500,000 he made in 2011.
Between the aforementioned five players, Travis Hafner, Fausto Carmona, Ubaldo Jimenez, Grady Sizemore, and Derek Lowe, the Indians are on the hook for $50.31M. Besides Asdrubal Cabrera and Rafael Perez, the rest of the roster will make at or near the league minimum, which is $480,000. Roughly, the Indians will add another $6.25M in payroll with those contracts, putting the current payroll at about $56.5M, before the Cabrera and R. Perez signings. Based on estimations by MLB Trade Rumors, the Indians could have another $7M in contracts to Cabrera and R. Perez, putting the payroll just over $63.5M.
The deadline to offer arbitration was today, with hearings beginning on February 1. The Indians have not gone to arbitration with a player since 1991.
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