CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Indians will find out Friday if they are able to reach deals with shortstop Francisco Lindor and right-hander Trevor Bauer. Friday is the deadline for exchanging salary figures for 2019 for arbitration.
This is the first time Lindor has been eligible for arbitration. MLBtradeumors.com projects he could earn a salary of $10.2 million. He made $623,200 last year.
Bauer beat the Indians in arbitration last year. He received a salary of $6.525 million while the Indians offered $5.3 million. He’s projected to receive $11.6 million this year.
Chris Antonetti, Indians president of baseball operations, wouldn’t comment on negotiations with Lindor or Bauer, but added, “our hope is always to work towards an agreement rather than have value decided in a hearing.”
Lindor and Bauer, should they go to an arbitration hearing and win, could walk away with the biggest arbitration awards in franchise history.
Last year the Indians took a file and trial approach with Bauer, their only player to go to arbitration. After the two sides failed to reach an agreement before exchanging numbers, the Indians stopped negotiating and waited to argue their case in a hearing before three arbitrations. Bauer was the first Indians player to win an arbitration case since Greg Swindell in 1991.
Antonetti would not comment if the Indians will take the same file-and-trial approach this year.
Lindor has played just over three years in the big leagues. He’s been to three All-Star games and helped the Indians win three straight AL Central titles. It’s been speculated that he could break Kris Bryant’s record salary of $10.85 million for a player eligible for arbitration for the first time.
Bauer went to his first All-Star Game last year. He went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA in 28 games, including 27 starts. He struck out 221 batters in 175 1/3 innings.
Arbitration hearings start Feb. 1.