MLB Trade Rumors has released their projected salaries for arbitration eligible players, including of course the Cleveland Indians.
Francisco Lindor is, unsurprisingly, projected to the be the most expensive arbitration-eligible Indians player at $16.7 million. Following him is Danny Salazar and Mike Clevinger, each at $4.5 million. Of course Clevinger will get paid, but given what transpired this season, it would be shocking to see the Indians tender Salazar any kind of contract in the offseason.
Other notable numbers include Tyler Naquin at $1.8 million and relievers Nick Goody and Nick Wittgren at $1.1 million and $1.3 million, respectively. The full list can be seen on MLB Trade Rumors, but here are the full Indians projections:
- Danny Salazar – $4.5MM
- Francisco Lindor – $16.7MM
- Kevin Plawecki – $1.5MM
- Cody Anderson – $800K
- Nick Goody – $1.1MM
- Nick Wittgren – $1.3MM
- Mike Clevinger – $4.5MM
- Tyler Naquin – $1.8MM
- A.J. Cole – $800K
The Indians have a lengthy history of avoiding arbitration cases, which can get dicey and downright ugly as teams argue against their own player’s worth. Throughout much the ‘90s and ‘00s, they did not have a single arbitration case. That streak of good fortune ended in 2014 when Josh Tomlin and the Indians couldn’t agree on a deal.
More recently, the Indians went to court the last two seasons with Trevor Bauer and lost both times. Bauer turned 2018 into a stage show when he opted to request $6,420,969.69 from the Indians, but was only rewarded $6,525,000. He donated a bunch of money in response. Last season, however, the Indians brought up Bauer’s problematic history on social media and he took offense to that, calling it “character assassination.”
Luckily, that problem has solved itself and magically turned into Yasiel Puig for half a season, and half a decade of Franmil Reyes. For what it’s worth, Trevor — now the Reds’ problem — is projected to make $18.6 million this season. Which is part of the reasons the Indians traded him in the first place.
As for Francisco Lindor, the Tribe’s superstar 25-year-old shortstop is looking at roughly a $6 million salary bump, give or take whatever the two sides work out before or during arbitration next February. They could also just give him a 30-year, $bazillion contract and be done with it. Just my opinion.