Poll: Will Justin Masterson Sign An Extension?

Earlier today, Justin Masterson told reporters that he believes that "somehow, some way" he'll be in Cleveland for a few more years after this one. That statement can serve as a beacon of optimism for Masterson/Indians fans, but there have been plenty of instances of a player going on record to say he thinks he will/wants to/hopes to stay with a team, only to sign elsewhere in the future.

Masterson isn't likely to give the Indians a hefty discount with just seven to eight months sitting between him and free agency, and the price for extending players has seemed to trend upward recently. Masterson is one year older than fellow right-hander Homer Bailey, who signed a six-year, $105MM extension with a comparable amount of service time. The similarities don't stop there, either. As that comparison shows, fWAR assigns Masterson the higher value due to his higher innings total, but in terms of ERA, FIP and xFIP, the two have accumulate very, very similar results over the past three seasons. Masterson relies more on ground-balls, while Bailey's leaned more heavily on superior command and a few more whiffs.

Regardless, Bailey signed away five free agent seasons for roughly $95MM. That figure, as noted by Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer in an updated piece on Masterson's comments, simply isn't going to be on the table from the Indians.

Masterson currently faces a decision: he's experienced his ups and downs in recent seasons (2010 and 2012 were not pretty), but he's a talented pitcher in the midst of his prime who is months away from being one of the best pitchers on the free agent market alongside James Shields, Max Scherzer and Jon Lester (Lester, of course, is widely expected to sign an extension this spring). Another strong season would give Masterson three years of an ERA well under 4.00 with 193-plus innings and one of the league's best ground-ball rates. However, his comments today also hinted that he'd like to stay in Cleveland, and an extension would eliminate the risk of a poor season or injury sapping his potential earnings.

It would be beneficial to the Indians' long-term outlook to keep Masterson around and pair him with the likes of Danny Salazar for years to come, but the team could also look to fill the void internally (or with cheaper free agent/trade options) and recoup a draft pick via qualifying offer next offseason in letting Masterson walk.


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24 Comments on "Poll: Will Justin Masterson Sign An Extension?"


Hills of Glenallen
1 year 6 months ago

I think they get something done. A lot of teams are able to do that now and keep guys from wanting to test the market.

Brian Meyer
1 year 6 months ago

I voted no…but I think the results thus far represent my true feelings…I say 50/50 shot.

johnsilver
1 year 6 months ago

My guess on the extension odds of the 4 listed is:

Lester, Masterson, Scherzer and then Shields.

I do think that Scherzer ends up back with Detroit, but it won’t technically be an extension, but resign with Detroit after Boras takes him to FA after the season, especially if he gets off to a hot start in April and May. Nothing will stop Boras from a bidding war.

Anyone remember what Martinez and his agent Cruz, or Boras and Tex did after both were FA and either were at top of their games, or had led team to a WS title (Pedro)?

Both openly went back and forth.. Shopping offers, telling old teams this was last time, to bid up and they would sign (Martinez) only to shop the offer again.

I really hope Scherzer doesn’t resort to those tactics. he has said he wanted to remain a Tiger, then Martinez said he wanted to retire as a Red Sox.

Agents and greed can be a terrible thing.

Evan Ralston
1 year 6 months ago

Remember Boras works for Scherzer. If Scherzer wants to sign with the Tigers there is nothing that Boras can do to stop it.

nightmarerec0n
1 year 6 months ago

None of the above.

He is traded mid season and then extended. Lets face it. The Indians would probably have to win their division to make the playoffs as the 2 wild cards are going to come out of the AL East/West. And the Tigers would have to all die in plane crash to not win their division.

Fernando
1 year 6 months ago

seriously? Tigers traded away Fister and Fielder. Last year the Indians finished 1 game behind them. Granted, Detroit had clinched and didn’t play very hard in the last few games, but still, they are by no means a lock to win the division. Especially without Fister and Fielder.

They are also relying on Smyly (who pitched in relief last year) to successfully start. And a first time manager Brad Ausmus. This is one year that the Indians have a good shot to win the division.

Also don’t forget the Indians have a pretty solid 1-4 pitchers in the rotation. It remains to be said what happens with #5 but their 2-4 is young, relatively unknown, but pretty solid.

1 year 6 months ago

No. Because Cleveland.

Shin_Soo_Choo
1 year 6 months ago

Bingo.

0vercast
1 year 6 months ago

Nearly every player sings the same old tune. If they don’t, they risk coming off as a disloyal, “me first”-type of player who is constantly in search of greener pastures and bigger paydays. It’s not even worth mentioning anymore. We’ve all seen this assurance broken more times than we can count.

LazerTown
1 year 6 months ago

No. Does Cleveland have the money?
They have a small metro, and they don’t draw very good.

johnsilver
1 year 6 months ago

Agree and agree. They gave Francona a LT contract, committed a boatload of money to Swish, Bourn. Extended Brantly. Santana. Francona isn’t going to be a happy camper sitting around with a bunch of retreads surrounding Bourn and Swish and he’s not going to be silent if his only solid SP joins Jimenez and is allowed to walk away via FA.

He was brought in to get this team to at least win games and he did. Did they play above their heads last season? Of course, but they start selling pieces and they will be drawing worse than Oakland and Tampa. The Reds will take back the few fans the Indians won over and NOT trying to be mean here.

Antonetti is in a bind regarding Masterson and might have to go as high as Sanchez money (85-100m) to retain him. Masterson looked ok earlier today. Yep, 1st day of ST, but he’s in a bind.

Shin_Soo_Choo
1 year 6 months ago

Who are these retreads surrounding Bourn and Swisher? The Tribe has multiple players better than Bourn and Swisher.

johnsilver
1 year 6 months ago

If they do a sell off of assets.

Daniel Morairity
1 year 6 months ago

In my opinion, I think the Justin Masteron needs an extension from the tribe, but why would 54% of voters say that he will test free agency this year

NYBravosFan10
1 year 6 months ago

I say no but only as wishful thinking. I want to see a free agent class that isn’t just Hanley and James Shields

$40129616
1 year 6 months ago

I was sorry when Boston traded him. Perhaps he can come back mid-season this year.

gson
1 year 6 months ago

The trade worked well for both clubs.. The year Victor contributed to the Sawx was tremendous. At the time of Masterson’s trade, he was being treated as a tweener by the Red Sox FO and Manager. When he arrived in Cleveland.. his future was sealed as he was made into a starter. It was the right decision. IF by chance Masterson is traded back to the Red Sox.. some things will have gone very wrong for one or both clubs. It would be a shame to see Masterson leave from Tribe fans’ perspective.. and a joy to watch him return from the Sawx fans’ perspective..

$40129616
1 year 6 months ago

I agree that it worked out for the Sox in 2010. I just was sorry to see him go about as much as I was excited to see Martinez arrive.

I disagree that Masterson to the Sox mid-season means the Sox are having a bad season. (It would be a certain sign that the Tribe are out of the running). Bringing in a starter as a mid-season reinforcement is a common strategy for a team that’s in the thick of it. I could see a season where 2-3 of Boston’s starters are underperforming and/or injured, and a mid-season acquisition is needed to get through to the playoffs. It happened last year, and they acquired Peavy. Masterson for Renaudo and a low-level position prospect at the trade deadline seems plausible. Especially if the Sox & Masterson have an implicit agreement on an extension.

The only difference from last year is the Sox have a raft of pitching talent waiting in the minors for call-ups. If the Sox are forced to trade for a starter at the deadline, it will mean that most of that talent isn’t working out quite yet. That would be disappointing, but not impossible.

gson
1 year 6 months ago

IF you’re bringing in a mid-season replacement.. due to 2 – 3 starters underperforming or injury.. that would be something having gone wrong..
As far as Ranaudo: While the extension would be a given/okay, the return wouldn’t be enough.. not even close. The Indians would rather get the draft pick / lottery ticket compensation and roll the dice for a comeback to playoff contention, if that be the case..

$40129616
1 year 6 months ago

In 2013 the Sox started the season with Buchholz, Lester, Lackey, Dempster and Doubront. They also had Morales and Aceves. In AAA they had Workman, Britton, Wright, Webster and 2-3 more. Yet they still brought in Peavy at the trade deadline. Had the season gone “horribly wrong” at that point? I wouldn’t call it that.

Do you think the Tribe will offer a QO to JM? Probably, I suppose, but I don’t know much about their FO or budget.

Regardless, if one of the Sox starting prospects–Renaudo was just one hypothetical–is performing well in AAA, the Tribe might prefer that to a draft pick that won’t perform in the majors for several years, and may never pan out. They traded Martinez for Masterson, might they not do the same again?

Conversely, the Sox might prefer the proven Masterson for a stretch run towards the pennant over an unproven rookie no matter how good he looks in AAA.

gson
1 year 5 months ago

From an Indian’s fan & long term perspective, the AA / AAA performing prospects are a vast improvement over the potential of a draft choice. The hypothetical, in other words, would preferred, but not with Ranaudo.. FWIW, he has been passed over by at least five more prospects from the time he was drafted to now, many of whom would become the focal point of a trade.
Imho, the hypothetical that could come to pass would be decided by how well the 3B situation is resolved for BOTH clubs. WMB, if he regains his power stroke and plate discipline and the outcome of the Chiz/Santana platoon at 3B.. From there, the exchange of “hypothetical” players could be considered. Pitching will always be needed, but both teams need to solve their 3B spot as well..

$40129616
1 year 5 months ago

Re: Renaudo. Fair point, though he’s been the most impressive rookie in camp so far. But again, I picked him as an example. There are others like Webster and Workman that might also be appealing to the Tribe under the circumstances I described.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s get to opening day first. Go Sox!

Fernando
1 year 6 months ago

Just because he used to pitch in Boston, though, doesn’t mean he gets traded back there. If he does get traded, I imagine it would take a pretty good crop of prospects. What does Boston have? My guess is that the Indians would want young pitching and potentially some prospects with power bats. No middle infielders as their system is full of very good SS and 2B prospects.

$40129616
1 year 6 months ago

You’re right, of course, that he could be traded elsewhere. But the indians won’t have a lot of leverage on a player approaching FA. Clearly the package will have to be better than a draft pick. I think that a controllable, young starting pitcher who could replace Masterson beginning in 2015, but is still a few years from arbitration, plus a mid- or low-level position player might do the trick. The Sox have that in spades.