CLEVELAND -- The Indians are well on their way to keeping their arbitration streak intact.
Cleveland, which has not gone to an arbitration hearing since 1991, avoided as much with six players Friday, agreeing to one-year contracts with closer Chris Perez, starting pitcher Justin Masterson, outfielder Drew Stubbs, catcher Lou Marson and relief pitchers Joe Smith and Matt Albers.
Perez, an All-Star for the second straight season last year, reportedly will earn $7.3 million plus bonuses after posting an 0-4 record and 3.59 ERA in 61 appearances and converting 39 of 43 save opportunities.
It is the third straight season that the Indians have avoided arbitration with the fiery right-hander, who made $4.5 million in 2012.
Masterson, who went 11-15 with a 4.93 ERA in 34 starts during his first season as Cleveland’s ace last year, will earn a reported $5.7 million after being paid $3.825 million in 2012, while Smith’s salary has been bumped to a reported $3.15 million from $1.75 million in 2012, when he went 7-4 with a 2.96 ERA in 72 games.
Stubbs will earn a reported $2.825 million and Albers, $1.75 million, while Marson, the Indians’ backup catcher the past three seasons, will reportedly earn $1 million. Stubbs and Albers were acquired this offseason in a three-team trade with Arizona and Cincinnati.
That leaves infielder Mike Aviles as the only arbitration eligible player on Cleveland’s roster. Aviles, acquired in an offseason trade with Toronto for reliever Esmil Rogers, hit .250 with 13 home runs and 60 RBIs in 136 games as Boston’s starting shortstop last year.
Aviles and the Indians reportedly exchanged salary figures before the 1 p.m. deadline Friday, with Aviles asking for $3.4 million, while the club is offering $2.4 million.
Arbitration hearings are scheduled from Feb. 4-20.
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