The Cleveland Indians are a step closer to avoid arbitration on Tuesday, signing third baseman Jack Hannahan and reliever Joe Smith to one-year contracts, according to their MLB.com site. There's no financial terms yet, but the team is still left with five players eligible for arbitration. All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, All-Star closer Chris Perez, right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, starter Justin Masterson and reliever Rafael Perez are still up for arbitration at the deadline on Tuesday.
Smith was great in the bullpen for Cleveland in 2011, sporting a 2.01 ERA in 71 appearances. He also struke out 45 and walked 21 over 67 innings of work. He'll likely get heavy work in 2012, in much the same way he did this past season.
Hannahan was the opening day third baseman last season for the Tribe, coming in on a minor league contract, but he'll have to compete against Lonnie Chisenhall during Spring Training. He his .250 with eight home runs and 40 runs batted in through 110 games for the Indians. He was a real asset at third base and has a solid chance to win the battle. Either way, he'll see the field in some form in 2012.