Indians Avoid Arbitration With Justin Masterson

1:32pm: Masterson receives a $9.7625MM salary, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, placing him slightly below the midpoint between his figure and the club's figure.

1:25pm: The Indians and Justin Masterson have reached an agreement on a one-year deal to avoid an arbitration hearing, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (on Twitter).

Masterson, who turns 29 in a month, is the last of the Indians' arbitration eligible players to resolve his case. The team went to hearings with right-handers Vinnie Pestano and Josh Tomlin (their first hearings since 1991), with Cleveland winning both cases.

Masterson told Bastian within the past hour that he and the Indians were "really close" on a one-year deal to avoid arbitration. The right-hander posted a 3.45 ERA in 193 innings with 9.1 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and a 58 percent ground-ball rate that led all qualified big league starters. He filed for an $11.8MM salary while the Indians filed at $8.05MM, as can be seen in MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker. This will be his final year of team control before he is eligible for free agency.

With Masterson's case now resolved, the only two unresolved players in baseball are Homer Bailey and Brandon Belt, though Bailey is said to be "on the one-yard line" in extension talks with the Reds.


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40 Comments on "Indians Avoid Arbitration With Justin Masterson"


TheWegert
1 year 6 months ago

I say the tribe wins this round but masty is probably now gone after the season.

Cannon Fodder
1 year 6 months ago

Yeah, no kidding. Cleveland may have penny-pinched themselves out of another decent starter.

Greg David
1 year 6 months ago

He was already gone after this season, with the contract Ubaldo just got and Bailey’s reported deal Masterson just left the Indians prince range

Ryan McCullough
1 year 6 months ago

If Masterson requires a 6 year 100 million dollar commitment like Homer Bailey he could be gone, I’d rather them use that kind of money to extend Jason Kipnis and maybe Francisco Lindor.

Ryan McCullough
1 year 6 months ago

If Masterson requires a 6 year 100 million dollar commitment like Homer Bailey he could be gone, I’d rather them use that kind of money to extend Jason Kipnis and maybe Francisco Lindor.

Shin_Soo_Choo
1 year 6 months ago

Kipnis is going to price himself far outside the Indians’ realm once he hits the market.

Jake13
1 year 6 months ago

Lindor won’t be a free agent for 6-7 seasons, why would you be saving money for him? Give Masterson a big 5/95 and he expires before Lindor hit’s FA, that is assuming that Lindor will even be good. Masterson is a top 30-40 SP, and by far the best on the Indians have, they need him to anchor their already average staff.

NorCalTribeFan
1 year 6 months ago

Masterson IS a top 30 – 40 pitcher, but can you say for sure that he will be at the end of a five year deal? What happens if he needs Tommy John surgery? If we signed him to a 5/95 and he gets hurt then just shy of ONE QUARTER of our total player salaries would become dead. Small market teams like the Indians simply cannot risk that. We will simply have to trust/hope that the front office can win with young players/reclamation projects every year….an uncomfortable position for Indians fans.

Ryan McCullough
1 year 6 months ago

Have you seen the kind of money being thrown around to extend guys who are just arb eligible?

truroyal15
truroyal15
1 year 6 months ago

Its a shame he prob won’t be with the Indians after this year. Sure wish owners of small to mid market teams were willing to spend more money. Hard to compete financially with the large market teams.

Ryan McCullough
1 year 6 months ago

Have you seen how pathetic the fans in Cleveland were in 2013? They didn’t show up down the stretch for a team in contention. I love the Indians, but I don’t blame the ownership for being frugal considering fans don’t show up.

Jake13
1 year 6 months ago

When ownership ships out players like Sabathia, Lee, V-Mart why would the fans feel obligated to come to the games?

NorCalTribeFan
1 year 6 months ago

…even when they win? Are you saying that winning isn’t enough?

Ryan McCullough
1 year 6 months ago

That was 5 seasons ago, GET OVER IT. There are some good young players wearing Cleveland Indians uniforms, go see them play instead of complaining about trades that were made a half decade ago.

Jake13
1 year 6 months ago

When ownership ships out players like Sabathia, Lee, V-Mart why would the fans feel obligated to come to the games?

Jake13
1 year 6 months ago

When ownership ships out players like Sabathia, Lee, V-Mart why would the fans feel obligated to come to the games?

Ryan McCullough
1 year 6 months ago

Have you seen how pathetic the fans in Cleveland were in 2013? They didn’t show up down the stretch for a team in contention. I love the Indians, but I don’t blame the ownership for being frugal considering fans don’t show up.

jaysfan4life
1 year 6 months ago

I think that extra $500 is what got it done.

Indians223
1 year 6 months ago

I think since the Indians didn’t use money to go get Ubaldo and probably won’t for Santana they should go ahead and give Masterson his extension. I can see a rotation of 3/5 being Salazar, Kluber, and Mcallister in 2015 but all those young guys can’t get it done by themselves. They need to keep a veteran and Masterson is that guy.

1 year 6 months ago

Depends on what he wants. Masterson needs to put together back to back great years before he deserves an 80+ extension.

Jake13
1 year 6 months ago

The smart thing would have been to extend Ubaldo for about $50 million and make a run this year, then let Masterson walk next year, still get your first round compensation, save a lot of money, and only a slight downgrade in talent.

NorCalTribeFan
1 year 6 months ago

You are assuming the new, improved Ubaldo won’t revert to the old Ubaldo in 2014.

Jake13
1 year 6 months ago

The smart thing would have been to extend Ubaldo for about $50 million and make a run this year, then let Masterson walk next year, still get your first round compensation, save a lot of money, and only a slight downgrade in talent.

Jim Blevins
1 year 6 months ago

Why are we talking about extending lindor and he hasn’t had a single major league at bat………..

Shin_Soo_Choo
1 year 6 months ago

Because in the world of Cleveland sports the present is already long lost so we must find promise in the future or forfeit all hopefulness.

TheNextEpstein
1 year 6 months ago

If the Indians can keep Masterson beyond 2014 and also extend Kipnis, on top of the Brantley, Swisher, and Bourn deals, they should have a competitive team the next few years. If they let Masterson walk they will be crushing their rotation with the losses of Kazmir, Ubaldo, and Masterson off a team that needed to win almost 20 straight just to get into the wildcard spot. Salazar is going to be a nice piece to replace Ubaldo and Bauer may replace Kazmir, but who is going to pick up the slack if Masterson walks?

Michael Chaney
1 year 6 months ago

They won 10 straight to earn the first Wild Card spot. How is that “almost 20?”

TheNextEpstein
1 year 6 months ago

The Indians won 16 of 20 to get into the post season in 2013. I think that qualifies as “almost 20″ straight.

Michael Chaney
1 year 6 months ago

I understand what you’re saying, but it would make more sense to have just said that in the first place. Winning 20 straight games is a lot different than going 16-4.

TheNextEpstein
1 year 6 months ago

I guess, but I think you are missing the point of the post. going 16-4 is pretty hard to do no matter what time of year. So with that finish they still barely squeaked into the playoffs and they have lost 2 starting pitchers off of that team and replaced them with younger players. If they lose Masterson as well I find it hard that they would make it to the postseason again if they dont find good replacements.

Shin_Soo_Choo
1 year 6 months ago

You could also see the fact that they won “almost 20 straight” as a sign that they’re a good team, not just because they had to to get into the postseason.

TheNextEpstein
1 year 6 months ago

I guess, but I think you are missing the point of the post. going 16-4 is pretty hard to do no matter what time of year. So with that finish they still barely squeaked into the playoffs and they have lost 2 starting pitchers off of that team and replaced them with younger players. If they lose Masterson as well I find it hard that they would make it to the postseason again if they dont find good replacements.

1 year 6 months ago

Masterson has been replacement level every other year since he became a full time starter. The Indians should extend him only if he takes a discount. He’s not an 100 million dollar pitcher yet. Jimenez was a real wrench in their teams success when he was horrendous.

Shin_Soo_Choo
1 year 6 months ago

Replacement level? He was an Allstar last year.

1 year 6 months ago

I said every other. He wasn’t that great in 2012.

Michael Chaney
1 year 6 months ago

Masterson’s fWAR by season since 2010 (his first full season as a starter):

2010: 2.1
2011: 4.3
2012: 1.9
2013: 3.4

If that’s “replacement level,” then I’m missing something.

1 year 6 months ago

I was using baseball reference’s WAR.

Tribe82
1 year 6 months ago

Really, if you look at Ubaldo’s career in Cleveland he was only “good” for 1/5 of the time he was here, and that was the second half of last season. If a guy like that can sign a 4 year, $48MM deal, then I shudder to think how the FA pitching market is going to look like next year for small market teams like Cleveland.

1 year 6 months ago

It’s shaping up to be rough for every team with all these extensions being signed. It’s not a very long list to begin with.

1 year 6 months ago

Masterson has been replacement level every other year since he became a full time starter. The Indians should extend him only if he takes a discount. He’s not an 100 million dollar pitcher yet. Jimenez was a real wrench in their teams success when he was horrendous.