Indians avoid arbitration with three remaining eligible players
CLEVELAND — After going to arbitration for the first time in 23 years last season, the Indians won’t have to face that prospect this offseason.
The franchise on Friday agreed to terms with Brandon Moss, Bryan Shaw and Josh Tomlin after reaching agreements with Carlos Carrasco, Lonnie Chisenhall and Marc Rzepczynski Thursday night.
The Indians were among a number of teams who were able to get all of their arbitration-eligible players under contract before teams and agents exchanged arbitration proposals.
"That’s just the way it happened to work out this year. There were settlements that worked out with both sides," general manager Chris Antonetti said.
Moss, who was acquired from Oakland on Dec. 8, will make $6.5 million this season according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Moss made the American League All-Star team for the first time last season after batting .234 with 25 home runs and 81 RBI. Over the past three seasons he is eighth in the AL in home runs to at-bat ratio (1 per 15.93).
In their arbitration estimates, MLBTradeRumors.com predicted Moss at $7.1 million. The $6.5 million though is currently the third-highest salary on the Indians behind Nick Swisher’s $15 million and Michael Bourn’s $13.5 million.
Moss visited Cleveland last week to be examined by trainers as he is recovering from offseason hip surgery. Antonetti said Moss’ rehabilitation is going well and that he remains on a timetable that should have him ready for some activity for spring training. Expectations remain that Moss should be set to go for the start of the season.
Shaw, who will make $1.55 million, led the majors with 80 appearances in 2014, which was also an Indians single-season record. The right-hander went 5-5 with two saves, a 2.59 ERA and held opposing batters to a .216 average. Shaw’s salary was in line with the estimate of $1.5 million.
Tomlin appeared in 25 games, including 16 starts, going 6-9 with a 4.76 ERA. The right-hander was one of two Indians to go to arbitration last year but lost his case along with Vinnie Pestano. Tomlin’s deal is worth $1.5 million, which was less than the estimate of $1.7 million.
Factoring in Friday’s deals, the Indians payroll stands at around $84.54 million pending other moves. Last year’s opening day payroll was $85.29 million.
When asked if the payroll can accommodate some more additions, Antonetti did not rule it.
"We had some sense to the ranges that this group of players could earn and we planned accordingly. They fell within range," he said. "I feel good about the group of guys that we have and if there is an opportunity to try to improve we will be open to doing that."