The Cleveland Indians signed all eight players who were arbitration-eligible this year, keeping some top talent in Cleveland for another season.
The Cleveland Indians rarely take players to arbitration, and the same holds true in 2017.
The team signed Brandon Guyer to a two-year deal Wednesday, making him the final arbitration-eligible player to sign a deal for next season. He joins Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, Dan Otero, Zach McAllister, Danny Salazar, Trevor Bauer, and Lonnie Chisenhall as those who avoided arbitration and signed deals.
The Indians made it clear that the checkbook was open this offseason, as the signing of Edwin Encarnacion ushers in a new era under the Dolan ownership. It is clear that the goal is a World Series title, and ownership is not allowing fans to claim the group is cheap anymore.
Signing the eight players listed above continues the team’s path toward the ultimate goal. There was never any real worry that the Indians would have an issue signing any of the eight, but keeping all of them was key to the team’s success in 2017.
All six pitchers who were retained served key roles in 2016. Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen helped anchor one of the best bullpens in all of baseball, while Danny Salazar and Trevor Bauer were mainstays in the starting rotation, when healthy.
Even Dan Otero and Zach McAllister were important pieces last season, although they saw limited time in the postseason.
Re-signing Lonnie Chisenhall gives the Indians its starting right fielder, while the return of Guyer offers insurance in the case of Michael Brantley not being fully healthy at the start of the season.
Retaining talent without going to arbitration is not only convenient, but it establishes goodwill between the players and the organization. No one wants to have their flaws described in full detail in front of an arbitrator, and a low offer could affect future willingness to stay with the team.
Luckily, the Indians are notoriously great when it comes to avoiding arbitration. And after a 2016 season that saw great success lead to great revenues, there was no need to lowball any of the eight players.
The roster is set and ready to go for 2017, with Brantley now being the main remaining question. Let’s just hope that gets cleared up sooner than later.