Signed SS Asdrubal Cabrera to a 1-Year, $4.55M Contract
The Indians came as close to an arbitration hearing with Asdrubal Cabrera as they did to almost any arbitration-eligible player since 1991. But although that team tradition has been maintained, another has been largely abandoned. Only two players in the organization (Travis Hafner and "Fausto Carmona") are under multi-year contracts that were signed with the Indians before they were eligible for free agency. Perhaps the pendulum is swinging back towards year-to-year contracts, with players and agents more content to deal with short-term risks in exchange for a big free agent payday.
It's been very apparent that Shin-Soo Choo is going to test free agency as soon as possible, and now it looks like Cabrera will be doing the same. This was probably Cleveland's best opportunity to extend Cabrera past free agency, as once his free agent season rolls around, what risk there is is swallowed up in the glare of bright, shinning reward. Chris Antonetti also seems resigned to this:
"We're appreciative of Asdrubal's contributions," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "We certainly value him as a member of the organization and a member of our team. He was a key part of our team over the last few seasons, and we're looking forward to him contributing in the time that he's with us.
With this anticlimactic signing, the Indians will head into Spring Training with a little over $60.0M on their payroll, with just the pre-arbitration players to sign. They should start the season with about a $66.0M or perhaps a $67.0M payroll, and no player on the roster being owed a 2013 salary.