CLEVELAND -- Indians general manager Chris Antonetti expects the club's payroll to increase next season, even before the team explores external acquisitions.
"Our payroll is going to go up next year," Antonetti said. "It's going to increase. The specific level of which, I'm not exactly sure. A big part of that increase is going to be absorbed by the raises inherently due to the players currently under contract or those eligible for arbitration. That will be a big portion of that increase."
The Indians logged a payroll of about $49 million this season, down from $61 million the previous year and $81 million in 2009. The organization drew more than 1.8 million fans this season, an increase of nearly 450,000 from a year earlier.
The club has options on center fielder Grady Sizemore ($9 million) and pitcher Fausto Carmona ($7 million), which, if picked up, would also pad the payroll.
"It's not only determining that investment in Fausto at that value," Antonetti said, "but also trying to understand what the alternatives are and where else we can invest that money. Are we better served reallocating those dollars to someone else or multiple other players?"