Indians Notes: Arbitration Hearings, Masterson

As MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows, the Indians (along with the Cubs) lead the league with four unsettled arbitration cases. Cleveland must settle or face a hearing with Josh Tomlin ($975K vs. $800K), Vinnie Pestano ($1.45MM vs. $975K), Michael Brantley ($3.8MM vs. $2.7MM), and Justin Masterson ($11.8MM vs. $8.05MM).

  • Though the Indians are known as a team that pursues a "file and trial" strategy on a case-by-case basis, the club has gone a league-high 22 years since it went to a hearing. But with four potential cases GM Chris Antonetti says "there's a very high likelihood we could end up in a hearing," tweets Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. 
  • Masterson's case features the greatest absolute dollar gap of any in baseball. With a $3.75MM bridge to gap, a hearing could be necessary, reports MLB.com's Jordan Bastian
  • Meanwhile, "little progress" has been made in discussions of a long-term deal between Masterson and the Indians, Bastian reports. The 28-year-old had an outstanding bounceback season in 2013, returning to his 2011 performance levels with a 3.45 ERA and even lower FIP, xFIP, and SIERA marks (3.35, 3.33, and 3.40, respectively). Set to hit the open market next year as one of several attractive starting pitchers, Masterson could cost the Indians $65MM to $85MM over five years in an extension scenario, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has suggested.

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