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Besides Travis Hafner, the Indians aren't paying anyone that much money in 2012.
Let's do a quick runthrough of the Indians' 2012 payroll requirements:
Minimum contracts (around $500k): Carlos Santana, Matt LaPorta, Jason Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall, Michael Brantley, Josh Tomlin, Jeanmar Gomez, Vinnie Pestano, Tony Sipp, Nick Hagadone, Zach Putnam, Lou Marson, Jason Donald, Ezequiel Carrera.
That's 14 players being paid around $7 million. Not bad at all for a small market team.
Arbitration cases (from MLB Trade Rumors): Asdrubal Cabrera ($4.8 million), Shin-Soo Choo ($4.3 million), Justin Masterson ($3.6 million), Chris Perez ($4.2 million), Rafael Perez ($1.9 million), Joe Smith ($1.6 million), Jack Hannahan ($1.3 million).
That's another seven players earning an estimated $21.7 million. So our total is up to $28.7 million with four players to go.
Guaranteed contracts: Travis Hafner ($13 million), Ubaldo Jimenez ($4.2 million), Fausto Carmona ($7 million).
I, like everyone else, wish the Indians were not paying Hafner $13 million this year, but the Tribe doesn't have a choice. Those three players are earning $24.2 million, putting the Tribe's 2012 payroll for 24 players at $52.9 million.
Indians Prospect Insider has the 2011 Indians' payroll at $50 million, I don't buy that there isn't money available to bring Sizemore back. Even at his $9 million option, the Indians would only be at $61.9 million.
Plus, knowing that the Indians plan on raising payroll "significantly" in 2012, it's feasible that the Tribe will spend around $70 million next year, as the Plain Dealer reports.
Even with paying Sizemore at an above-market value $9 million, the Indians would have room to maneuver. And considering the state of the free-agent market and in-house options in center field, it seems we should have kept Grady.