On Sunday Paul Hoynes reported the Indians and Asdrubal Cabrera agreed on a 2 year contract extension for $ 16.5 million. Official confirmation of the deal is expected Wednesday. The parties previously signed a 1 year contract for 2012 at $ 4.55 million to avoid arbitration.
— In short, the Indians buy out Cabrera’s last arbitration year (2013) and his first free agent year (2014) at market value given the contracts for comparable shortstops such as Yunel Escobar ($14 million 2013-2014) and Alexei Ramirez ($16.5 million 2013-2014);
— The extension should bridge the gap to the arrival in the major leagues of the Tribe’s No. 1 rated prospect, SS Francisco Lindor, or other highly touted SS such as Rodriguez/Paulino/Wolters;
— The deal does not tether the team long term to a player who, based on personal history, may decline after 2014;
— The deal provides continuity with a productive player for the so-called ‘contention window’ of 2013-2014 (before the next wave of free agent eligibles leave);
— The extension creates cost/payroll certainty which may help the Tribe retain other players such as Choo or Masterson;
— The deal provides Cabrera with a significant raise (but not a large windfall, at least in the helium world of baseball economics) and allows him to re-enter free agency while still near his prime (age 30).