If the Indians do not make a major move before the Trade Deadline then Plan B MUST be a serious re-tooling this offseason. Below is a quick look at roster status and payroll. The biggest point is half or more of the “savings” from FA departures will be taken up in arbitration raises to current players. We also need to extend Masterson (and maybe Perez/Choo) before he gets too close to the Promised Land.
Brantley, Masterson, CPerez, Choo and Smith are all likely to get substantial raises. As an Arb 3 player, we should extend (or trade) Smith or risk losing him. We still control Brantley and can deal with him 1-2 years hence.
Unless Hernandez tanks the next 2 months, I think it likely the Tribe keeps him next year to replace Lowe. It’s less likely they re-sign Hafner at a greatly reduced rate. If we still have Damon and Kotchman next year then the offseason was an unmitigated failure.
Trading Choo and/or Perez could add another $ 14-15 million in savings (less costs for the acquired players).
Free Agents After 2012 Future Free Agents
Damon $ 1.25 2014
Kotchman 3.0 Choo
Lopez .8 Jimenez (player option)
Sizemore 5.0 RPerez
Hafner 13.0 (club option) Smith
Hernandez (club option) Hernandez
Off the Books $ 22.30 Million 2015
28.30 Million (if no Hernandez) Cabrera
Brantley Super 2 Hannahan Arb 2 Choo Arb 3
Duncan Arb 1 Masterson Arb 2 RPerez Arb 3
LaPorta Arb 1 CPerez Arb 2 Smith Arb 3
Marson Arb 1
Sipp Arb 1
Contracts 2013– Forward
Cabrera 6.5 10.0
Santana .55 3.5 6.0 8.25 12.0 Option
Hafner 13.0 (option)
Hernandez 6.0 (option)
Jimenez 5.75 8.0 (option)
Payroll info from Indians Prospects Insider