CLEVELAND -- Paul Dolan caught wind of the rumors over the offseason -- the ones about the Indians positioning their payroll structure to make the team potentially easier to sell -- and the club's chairman and chief executive found it all a bit amusing.
The basis for the unfounded reports stemmed from the fact that Cleveland had no players under contract for guaranteed money beyond the 2012 season. With recent signings of shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and catcher Carlos Santana to multiyear contracts, the Indians have altered that situation.
"It's kind of funny actually," said Dolan, who attended the press conference to announce Santana's new deal on Tuesday. "At the time I heard [those rumors], I didn't even realize it was a fact. We have a number of players under control for a period of time. ... I'm not bothered by that kind of silliness."
Santana's new contract will pay him $21 million through 2016 and it includes a club option worth $12 million for the 2017 season. That covers what would have been the catcher's arbitration years, along with his first potential year of free-agent eligibility. Cabrera's new deal -- announced last Wednesday -- is worth $16.5 million for the 2013-14 seasons.
Indians manager Manny Acta said he hopes fans view the deals as a sign that the organization is doing all it can to secure its young core players.
"It sends the message that we're trying to keep our good players here for a long period of time," Acta said. "We locked up two good players that we won't have to worry about for at least three years with Asdrubal and five with Carlos. These are the cornerstones of this franchise. It's very comforting to know that these guys are not going anywhere for a while."
As of right now, Cabrera and Santana represent the only players with guaranteed contracts after this season. With such a young roster, though, Cleveland does have a long list of players who are under contractual control for several future seasons. The Tribe also has 2013 club options for Travis Hafner, Ubaldo Jimenez and Roberto Hernandez.
"When you have cost certainty," Dolan said, "which you achieve when you enter into these kind of multiyear deals, it becomes easier to plan and budget around them. You know what costs are for your core players. You just hope and expect that Carlos becomes -- remains -- the player he's been and even grows a little further.
"Today is all about Carlos. These are the kind of deals we're prepared to do when the values line up on both sides. Today, we're celebrating the fact that we were able to reach an agreement with Carlos."