Indians, Masterson Closing In On One-Year Deal To Avoid Arbitration

The Indians and Justin Masterson are making progress on a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, the right-hander told reporters, including's Jordan Bastian (Twitter link). Masterson said that the two sides are "really close" to an agreement, and he's hopeful that he won't need to catch a flight to attend his arbitration hearing.

Masterson, Homer Bailey and Brandon Belt are the only remaining players whose arbitration cases have not been solved. Bailey is said to be nearing a six-year, $100MM deal with Cincinnati, but Masterson and the Indians don't sind like they'll be striking such a pact. The soon-to-be 29-year-old 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.

9 Responses to Indians, Masterson Closing In On One-Year Deal To Avoid Arbitration Leave a Reply

  1. AmericanMovieFan 1 year ago

    I figured they could get a Masterson extension done for 6 years/$66MM w/ 2014 valued at $8.5MM.

    2014: $8.5MM
    2015: $9.5MM
    2016: $10.5MM
    2017: $11.5MM
    2018: $12.5MM
    2019: $13.5MM

    Please don’t tell me people believe Masterson can get a 5-6 year deal in the $100MM range or something. C’mon. SOMEONE has to be had at a ‘reasonable’ price, even in this inflated market.

    • Steve Adams 1 year ago

      Masterson’s 2014 price would probably be somewhere in the $10MM range, even in an extension, at which point you’re basically signing his free-agent seasons away for 5/55 with that contract. There’s just no way he takes that type of contract when he’s a year out from free agency.

      I’d say you’re at least $20MM light, and with a good 2014, $100MM is reachable.

      • AmericanMovieFan 1 year ago

        Looking at his numbers I just don’t see how he’s worth $16.5MM a season. I could maybe see a decent 2014 (replicating 2013) translating into 5 years/$75MM. I guess then it’d be a 6 year/$85MM contract, assuming you’re correct about the $10MM for 2014 . That’s still well short of $100MM.

        • Steve Adams 1 year ago

          $16.5MM on the open market is basically about 2.5 WAR worth of value. With a strong 2014, teams would look and see a guy with four straight years of an ERA 3.50ish or better, 200 innings per season (or close to it) and a Top 5 or so ground-ball rate in the Majors over that time.

          He’s also likely to be in a weak class, with Bailey nearing an extension and Lester all but certain to sign one. That matters as well.

          • AmericanMovieFan 1 year ago

            True. Now, Bailey IS worth $16.5MM AAV given his age and ERA over the last few seasons. But with Masterson if I was a GM I’d take a wait and see approach for this coming season before judging his FA value over the next half-decade or more.

            For argument’s sake, what do you see his FA worth being if he regresses? Or, better yet, if he turns down a Q.A. would he then cost a draft pick and be worth even less? End up like Kyle Lohse?

        • TheNextEpstein 1 year ago

          Bailey and Masterson are almost identical in terms of service time, stats, and contract status. If Bailey is about to pull off a 6 year $100mm deal, it basically a 1 year 10mm deal and a 5 year $90mm extension. Masterson will definitely be looking for the same thing. I would tend to think Bailey has more upside than Masterson but not by much. Masterson signing a 5 and 80-90mm deal would be my best guess on top of his arb figure for 2014.

  2. JMO 1 year ago

    Baseball needs a salary cap, now. The playing field needs to be completely level, for all 30 MLB teams. Buying championships should not be allowed. Also, the city of Detroit is bankrupt, but the Tigers have close to 200 M, unacceptable.

    • Wooltron 1 year ago

      So are you suggesting the Tigers give money to the city instead of trying to field a winning ball club?

    • Cannon Fodder 1 year ago

      Apparently I am dense. How (or why) are the finances of the city of Detroit and the Detroit Tigers related?

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