Indians, Brantley reach agreement on a four-year deal
According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Indians have reached agreement on a multi-year deal with outfielder Michael Brantley. According to the report, the deal is a four-year $25 million deal that includes an $11 million club option for a fifth year.
[Edit: The contract breakdown is as follows: A $3.5 million signing bonus and base salaries of $1.5M in 2014, $5M in 2015, $6.5M in 2016 and $7.5M in 2017. Note, the signing bonus is pro-rated over the four years]
Brantley, 26, was eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason and had three years of club control left before he could become a free agent after the 2016 season. He and the Indians were scheduled for an arbitration hearing on February 17 in order to determine whether he would receive his requested $3.8 million salary or the $2.7 million the Indians offered him.
Last season Brantley hit .284 with 10 HR, 73 RBI and .728 OPS in 151 games. In 514 games with the Indians he owns a .277 average with 26 homers, 212 RBI and .711 OPS. His steady play, clutch hitting and versatility in the outfield has made him a core member of the roster and one the Indians apparently want to keep around for longer.
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Could give Masterson $12M in 2014 now (even more than he asked for) as part of an extension and still keep the payroll around $85M for 2014. And could give Kipnis $1M or so even (again as part of an extension )and keep the payroll in check.
Doesn't give me a ton of confidence for 2014 but long-term may be the smarter move (at least with Kipnis)...
We see by back loading a contract when a players numbers start declining the team get stuck with that huge salary.
I could be wrong, but I believe I read something when Kershaw's deal was announced that said the salary for an ARB-eligible player based on service time was considered when comparing for deciding arbitration cases. In other words, teams are pushing for these signing bonuses so that only the base salary is used to determine ARB salaries, driving down ARB costs league-wide. So Brantley's compensation as a first time ARB player is only $1.5M.
$2.375M in 2014, $5.875M in 2015, $7.375M in 2016, $8.375M in 2017, and $11M (option picked up) or $1M (buyout) in 2018.
with this plus Pestano losing his arby case...I have the Tribe's payroll under $80M (though depends highly on Masterson's case obviously)....
I don't think the Tribe will trade Bourn. I've petitioned for it, just to free up some salary bc I'm convinced they need more pitching, but it makes sense for the Tribe to hold onto Bourn bc he is / was a premier FA signing. Trading him could hurt a future FA - ie they don't want to start a reputation as the Marlins north.
Back to. Brantley, glad they've settled this, hope it goes this smoothly with Kipnis in the future and Masterson too.
First of all, great name.
As to your first question, Brantley's relatively low ceiling would really limit what I would commit to him as a GM. He's a really nice everyday OF but doesn't provide the kind of elite defense to be a first division CF, and doesn't provide the kind of power or on base abilities to make him a first division corner OF. If he stays healthy, you assume he would make something like $3.5M in ARB this year, $5.5M next year, and $8M in 2016. Extending that out, if he stays healthy and remains a 3-win player over those 3 years, he probably gets a 3-year deal in the 12M/year range. So you get a little discount on an FA year in exchange for the piece of mind for Brantley of having a guaranteed deal. If I were the GM, I wouldn't go beyond 4/26 with a very team friendly option, but I'm not going to complain if it's 28 or 30.
For the second question, I don't think the Indians have any intention of dealing Bourn, they're just locking Brantley up for what he's worth. His worth would go up some playing in CF, but his defense has never been so good in CF that it would lead to a big pay day.
yourtribe, Kip basically has that contract already with team options every year just to take him through his arb years. Masterson should get nearly 3 times as much to cover a few years of FA. The Indians would have to get them at a hefty discount right now to make it worth committing that kind of money.
I'd love to see Kipnis and Masterson get signed next. Masterson is seemingly more and more unlikely though.
now lock up kipnis and masterson.