The Cleveland Indians have several players up for arbitration this offseason, but a few stand out as players who could be outright let go.
The end of the month marks the deadline for when the Cleveland Indians can offer salary figures to those eligible for arbitration.
The players can either work out a deal over the next month or decide to go to arbitration, which is something that rarely happens with this organization. Unless Trevor Bauer is involved.
Anyway, the Indians had seven players who qualified for arbitration. The number is now six after Leonys Martin agreed to his 2019 deal. That leaves Bauer, Francisco Lindor, Danny Salazar, Neil Ramirez, Cody Anderson and Nick Goody as those who still need to work out a deal.
There is also the option the Indians decide to not extend an offer to one or more of those players, allowing the player to test the free agent market.
That obviously won’t happen with Lindor or Bauer, but the others could be in that scenario.
MLB.com recently ran a piece looking at potential non-tender candidates for each team. The article selected Salazar as a player who the Indians could decide to part ways with.
Salazar did not appear in a single game last year and has been hurt off-and-on for several years. He is projected to earn $5 million in a year when the Indians appear to be nailing down the payroll and eliminating any unnecessary costs.
I think it will come down to the team’s pitching plans. If a starter is going to be traded, the team may decide to hold on to Salazar and give him one more chance. But if the team has no plans of moving anyone, that $5 million can go to someone who can help the team this year.
Another article on MLB Trade Rumors went through some other non-tender candidates. The only Indians player who appeared was Ramirez. His projected cost is just over $1 million.
Ramirez didn’t have a great season and also didn’t have a terrible one. His usage faded as the season went on, but he was still someone who wasn’t a total disaster, like Josh Tomlin.
The only way I see the team parting ways with Ramirez is if there are plans to go with younger talent already in the organization. Or take the familiar route of inviting veterans to spring training on small deals and seeing if any stick.
The main focus of this process will be on Lindor and Bauer. But given their salary figures will be high, it wouldn’t be a shock to see players like Ramirez or Salazar be left without any offer on the table.