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The Indians will raise payroll “significantly” for 2012

Sep 29, 2011, 5:30 PM EDT

Progressive Field

A funny thing happened to the Cleveland Indians in 2011. They won a lot more games than many thought they would, especially early in the season.  That led to a lot more people coming out to the ballpark — about 450,000 more — which made the team money.  And because generally smart people run the Indians, they want to continue to win more ballgames and thus continue to draw more fans.

At least that’s the conclusion I reached based on GM Mark Antonetti’s comments to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com that the Indians will raise payroll “significantly” in 2012.

No idea what they’ll spend it on — Antonetti wasn’t specific — but as long as they still have a place for Shelley Duncan, I’ll be cool with it.

  1. xmatt0926x - Sep 29, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    Cleveland fans came out back when they had great teams. There’s no reason to expect they wouldn’t come out again if the team spent on some key additions. Go crazy. Jack it up to $100 million. Just for kicks.

    • ptho16 - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:11 AM

      Yes the Indians sold out 500+ games in a row in the 90s, but you have to remember that they opened a new ballpark in 1994, the Browns moved in 1995, and the Cavs were no good in the 90s, so fans really only had one option to spend their money on. It was proven this summer when they were winning that fans aren’t going to come out in droves like they did then, because they have more options to spend their money, oh also the economy wasn’t in the toilet then either.

  2. tashkalucy - Sep 29, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    Under Dolan’s-Shaprio-Antonetti the Indians have been to the playoffs once in 10 years.

    They’ve had 3 seasons over .500 in those 10 years.

    They have not had 2 winning seasons in a row in those 10 years.

    This year they “surprised” and finished 80-82.
    _________

    Mark Shapiro wants to sell ice to Eskimo’s, which the Indians attempt to do with their “Snow Days At Progressive Field” in the Winter.

    The Indians front office is more worried about selling themselves in the national media, then putting a team on the field that can play without beating themselves at least half the time – something no one in the front office has the competence to do.

    When baseball fans in NE Ohio see the Indians lay out money and bring in good players, then they’ll believe it. Until then, the Indians remain a AAAA team whose purpose is to develop players for other teams – who then trade them more prospects to develop.

    • jeffro33 - Sep 29, 2011 at 9:23 PM

      Normally I’d believe you but their latest transactions included trading away their #1 pitching prospect for a proven pitcher that they are banking on to headline their rotation…

      May not have been the smartest move, but it shows that they are willing to be aggressive and spend some $

  3. dailyrev - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    Does this mean they want to spend more $$$ on, you know, baseball players? If they want to spend on IT workers, though, I’m available.

    Oh, and I think the winter carnival at the ballpark idea is charming. I’d go if I lived there.

  4. Lukehart80 - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    This is good news. Obviously there are good ways to spend money and dumb ways to spend money, but for now I’m just happy to know that they intend to spend more of it. I’ll reserve judgement on the quality of that spending for when it actually happens.

    I didn’t think the deal for Jimenez was too bad at the time, but it isn’t looking great right now. The team is going to need more pitching. Offensively, better health would be a boost, even before spending additional funds, but I’m not holding my breath for improved health either.

    Some power from 1B or a corner outfield spot would come in handy; I think the rest of the infield is just a matter of waiting to see what develops and hoping for the best.

  5. mplsjoe - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    That giant sucking sound you hear is the Indians taking money out of the Twins’ payroll (which ownership says will “naturally” be reduced).

  6. tashkalucy - Sep 29, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    The Cleveland Plain Dealer attended the news conference and phrased it this way:

    “-Antonetti said the Indians $49 million payroll will increase significantly. A big part of that will be driven through salary arbitration.”

    What that means is that their young players are due raises.

    Two of the PD’s reports have written the past week that the Indians payroll next year will be around $70 million, but that most of the increase will be eaten up by something like 14 players that are eligible for arbitration.

    So don’t count on the Indians being in the hunt for Sabathia, Puhols or Fielder….at least until their at least 42 years-old.

    • thefrenchyconnection - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:46 AM

      Thanks for adding some clarity.

      I would rather them use that approach. The one thing I would hate to see is a team with CLE’s recent history be fooled by some success into splashing cash around and get stuck with horrible contracts that kill them for years when FA acquisitions dont go as planned (see the Mets).

      A tweak here or there in the offseason and there is no reason that shouldn’t have a shot in a relatively weak division

  7. kvanhorn87 - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:20 AM

    Way to go Indians! Can’t wait for your playoffs to start!

  8. purnellmeagrejr - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:03 AM

    You’re on a roll, Craig (or I’m getting used to you.)

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