Seven for seven. With the Cleveland Indians and All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera agreeing to terms Friday, Feb. 10 to a one-year, $4.55-million deal, the Tribe keep an impressive arbitration free streak intact.
MLB.com's Jordan Bastian notes on the Cleveland Indians website the last time the club endured the arbitration process came in 1991 with pitcher Greg Swindell and position player Jerry Browne. Over the offseason, Cleveland also avoided arbitration with right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, starter Justin Masterson, third baseman Jack Hannahan, All-Star closer Chris Perez, and relievers Joe Smith and Rafael Perez.
The fact the Indians could only work out a one-year deal with Cabrera serves as a main talking point stemming from the Feb. 10 announcement. As Bastian noted in his coverage, Cleveland and the All-Star shortstop tried negotiating a multi-year contract, but obviously such an agreement didn't come to fruition, at least not yet. In typical yet understandable fashion, Indians general manager Chris Antonetti refused to comment specifically on a possible long-term deal with Asdrubal Cabrera. He only made a vague comment to Cleveland's media, explaining the team remains open to exploring different contract structures with all players.
Personally, the detail Cleveland and Cabrera didn't work out a multi-year deal yet initially led to disappointment. After all, Asdrubal Cabrera proved Cleveland's best player all around during the 2011 season. A long-term contract will guarantee name value Tribe fans can get excited about for years to come. However, further thinking gave me some comfort and hopefully will do the same for you.
Asdrubal Cabrera can become a free agent after 2013, The Washington Post reports. Worst-case scenario sees Cabrera signing with another team or being traded before getting the opportunity to do so. If this situation occurs, the door opens for prospects Francisco Lindor and Tony Wolters. Both shortstops, Lindor and Wolters rank within the Tribe's top five prospects and are expected to arrive at the major league level in 2014, according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. So, in essence, the Tribe's future at shortstop looks bright whether or not Asdrubal Cabrera agrees to a multi-year deal.
Injury risks multi-year deals carry also seem worth mentioning. Just look at what happened to Tribe center fielder Grady Sizemore and designated hitter Travis Hafner over the past few seasons. Now, would I like to see the Cleveland Indians turn their current agreement with Asdrubal Cabrera into a long-term deal? Yes. Does such a deal prove necessary? Not in my mind.
Zachary Fenell fell in love with the Cleveland Indians during the 1995 season when the Tribe powered their way to the organization's first World Series appearance since 1954. While the Indians lost some lure since the 1990s you will still find Zachary watching the games on TV, listening to them on the radio, or best yet taking in a game from the stands at Progressive Field.
More from This Contributor: