CLEVELAND: The Indians’ payroll rose nearly $9 million Friday, even though the Tribe did not sign a free agent or acquire a player in a trade.
Rather, the club came to terms with six of its seven players eligible for arbitration. Justin Masterson, Joe Smith, Matt Albers, Drew Stubbs, Lou Marson and Chris Perez received substantial raises as players with more than three years of big-league service time but less than the six years that would make them eligible for arbitration.
Various sources placed the value of their 2013 contracts at $7.3 million for Perez, the Tribe’s closer; about $5 million for Masterson, who is in the rotation; $3.1 million for Smith, the seventh-inning relief specialist; $2.8 million for Stubbs, who probably will play center field; $1.75 million for Albers, a middle reliever, and $1 million for Marson.
Marson, the club’s backup catcher, will receive less compensation than anyone on the list but will double his 2012 salary.
Together, the group made $12.1 million last year; this season, the same players will be paid about $21 million.
Why did all of these players sign the same day? Friday was the deadline for exchanging salary figures that eventually would be used by an arbitrator to fix a player’s compensation. Once these numbers were known, the teams and agents had solid information with which to make a deal.
The only arbitration- eligible player remaining for the Tribe is middle infielder Mike Aviles. Just because he didn’t come to terms with the team on Friday doesn’t mean he will carry his case all the way to an arbitrator.