CLEVELAND -- In a completely unsurprising development, the Indians have tendered a 2009 contract to all players on the roster without one, including the arbitration-eligible Kelly Shoppach. The move came in advance of the non-tender deadline, which is midnight on Friday night. The deadline most often affects arbitration-eligible players due for a substantial raise. Shoppach, who hit .261 with 21 homers and 55 RBIs last season, is the Tribe's only arbitration-eligible player, and he will most definitely be retained. Had the Indians not tendered him a contract, he would have become a free agent.More
Shoppach's contract will be determined at a later date -- either in negotiations with the Tribe or by an arbitrator. The 28-year-old Shoppach will be able to file for arbitration from Jan. 5-15, and the Indians must exchange salary figures with him by Jan. 19. If both sides cannot agree to a contract in the ensuing weeks, they will enter an arbitration hearing, which would determine Shoppach's 2009 salary. The hearings will run from Feb. 1-21. Expect the Indians to come to terms with Shoppach, who made $404,100 last season, before it reaches the point of a hearing. The Indians have not gone to arbitration with a player since Greg Swindell and Jerry Browne in 1991.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less