Tuesday night was the deadline for MLB teams to offer contracts to their arbitration-eligible players. As expected, the Indians have tendered all five of their eligible players: Carlos Carrasco, Lonnie Chisenhall, Marc Rzepczynski, Bryan Shaw, and Josh Tomlin.
The team can work out any sort of contract with each of those players during the next few weeks. If nothing happens on that front, than each side submits a salary proposal for the 2015 season on January 16th. The two sides then have more time to try and work something out (most often the two sides meet somewhere in the middle of the two offers), otherwise hearings are scheduled throughout the first three weeks of February. If no deal is worked out before then, an arbitrator listens to each side make its case for the salary they've proposed, then chooses one or the other.
The Indians hadn't gone to an actual hearing with any player since 1991, but that changed last offseason, when they were unable to come to any sort of agreement with Tomlin or Vinnie Pestano. The arbitrator sided with the team in both of those cases. In some cases hearing have reportedly caused friction between players and management, which isn't all that surprising, since half the hearing amounts to a player listening to team representatives argue that the player isn't as good as he thinks.
For Carrasco, Chisenhall, and Shaw this is the first year they're eligible for arbitration, while for Rzepczynski and Tomlin it is the second year.
MLB Trade Rumors does a good job of predicting how much eligible players are likely to get (give or take), based on their performance and the salaries given to similar players in past years.
- Carrasco: $1.4 million
- Chisenhall: $2.2 million
- Rzepczynski: $1.9 million
- Shaw: $1.5 million
- Tomlin: $1.7 million
Carrasco's case is the most interesting to me, because he had such a strong finish to the season as a starter.
I assumed these five players would all be tendered and used those same projections when laying out the Tribe's financial situation a few weeks ago. At that time I concluded the Indians might spend as much as $15 million on free agents for 2015, but that they'd likely look to find players willing to sign one-year deals because unless something unexpected happens, in-house raises will take them pretty near the likely 2016 budget even without anyone new being added.