The Indians on Friday reached agreements on one-year deals with pitcher Danny Salazar and outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall and exchanged salary figures with Trevor Bauer, the club's last three remaining arbitration-eligible players this winter.
Salazar's one-year deal is valued at $5 million. Chisenhall, in his last year of arbitration eligibility, will make $5,587,500 for the 2018 season.
Salazar's future outlook hasn't changed much from a year ago. He still has a high ceiling and more potential than most starters in the league, but injuries have derailed his last two seasons. He's logged 1371/3 innings and 103 innings in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Salazar posted an ERA of 4.28 last year but, as he has in the past, pitched at a much higher level in spurts. Among pitchers with at least 100 innings in 2017, Salazar's 12.67 K/9 rate ranked second in baseball, behind only the Boston Red Sox's Chris Sale.
When healthy, he is one of the better No. 3 starting pitchers in baseball. But that qualifier of health has loomed large.
Chisenhall also had an injury-riddled 2017, but he did put together the best offensive season of his career. In 270 plate appearances, Chisenhall posted an .881 OPS and 129 wRC+, according to FanGraphs. He also hit .288 with 12 home runs, 17 doubles and 53 RBIs. Chisenhall is eligible for free agency after this season.
The Indians and Bauer each submitted salary figures for the 2018 season, as Friday was the filing deadline. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Bauer has filed at $6,525,000, while the Indians have filed at $5,300,000. Arbitration hearings will take place between Jan. 29 and Feb. 16.
Bauer finally took the step forward in 2017 on which the Indians had been waiting. He struggled to a 5.24 ERA in the first half and admitted to not only being somewhat confused with his results but also to pitching through some depression early in the season.
In the second half, though, Bauer caught fire, posting a 3.01 ERA and 93 strikeouts over his final 832/3 innings.
Bauer went on to start Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees, as well as Game 4 on short rest. He carried his second-half momentum into a 4-0 victory in Game 1, pitching 62/3 scoreless innings and striking out eight.
In Game 4, though, some defensive miscues and a costly hit that landed on the foul line resulted in an early exit and a 7-3 Indians loss.
The Indians had seven arbitration-eligible players this winter. Aside from Salazar and Chisenhall, the Indians also avoided arbitration by coming to an agreement on one-year deals with Cody Allen ($10,575,000), Zach McAllister ($2,450,000) and Abraham Almonte ($825,000). Dan Otero signed a two-year deal with a club option for 2020 worth $2.5 million guaranteed. And the club has the opportunity to have ongoing exchanges with Bauer.
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