AL Central Notes: Masterson, De Aza, Santana, Tigers

Many have been quick to call Justin Masterson's reported three-year extension proposal to the Indians a bargain, but Dave Cameron of Fangraphs takes a step back and wonders how benevolent Masterson is really being. Cameron admits that he, too, initially considered a three-year, $45MM or four-year, $60MM deal to be a huge value, but he looks at the cognitive bias of "anchoring," in which we subconsciously turn an initial price for one item into an anchor price for others. Cameron argues that rather than comparing Masterson to the statistically similar Homer Bailey, who signed away five free agent years for $95MM, we should look at Masterson's expected value over the next three to four years. Doing so presents the case that Masterson's offer is fair, but hardly a tremendous discount for Cleveland. He adds that the Indians aren't a club that can afford to pay market value for too many wins, so it may not be as much of a no-brainer as many initially believed.

More from the AL Central…

  • While he's yet to determine if the Twins have placed a call, Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN knows that White Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza has quite a few fans in Minnesota's front office (Twitter link). De Aza would seem a peculiar fit for the Twins in my opinion, given the fact that he has just two years of team control and Minnesota has a number of young outfielders and outfield prospects.
  • Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that while he didn't look like a catcher trying to play third base in practice, that's exactly how Carlos Santana has looked thus far in Cactus League games. Hoynes describes his play as "stiff and uncomfortable," though he notes that Santana has had few chances to this point and could improve by playing consecutive games at the position. For the time being, it appears to be good news for Lonnie Chisenhall, as if Santana doesn't man third, he would DH and serve as a backup at first, catcher and occasionally third.
  • Left-hander Blaine Hardy has gone from being released by the Royals last year to a minor league flier for the Tigers to a leading candidate to join Detroit's bullpen this season, writes James Schmel of Hardy posted a 1.67 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 between Double-A and Triple-A last season, serving as both a starter and reliever. He's allowed one hit in five innings this spring, catching the eye of manager Brad Ausmus and establishing himself as one of the top candidates to fill a long reliever role at the big league level.

16 Responses to AL Central Notes: Masterson, De Aza, Santana, Tigers Leave a Reply

  1. UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

    The idea that the Indians could lock up Masterson who will be 29 this month for 3 or 4 years for about $15MM +/- per is a no brainer. Those are arguably a pitchers prime years 29 through 32 or so. If the Indians don’t re-sign him I repeat what I said in an earlier blog. The Indians are crazy if they don’t re-sign Masterson.

  2. Hunter 1 year ago

    Personally, as an Indians fan, they almost have to lock up Masterson (and Kipnis, but that’s another article some other time) or the fan backlash will be extreame, particurally now that we know that’s all the more he asked for to stay in Cleveland.

  3. I agree with everything Cameron said about Masterson, but I still think it’s a move the Indians have to make if it’s on the table. The team has let many aces go. While Masterson isn’t in the same league as Sabathia and Lee, it’s still an important move that shows the fans that they’re committed to winning.

  4. brian310 1 year ago

    Someone please trade for De Aza!

  5. Sufferfortribe 1 year ago

    Lonnie is our 3B, and anyone who thought Carlos could play 3B must not have been paying attention last year when he played 1B. Surprised he doesn’t trip over his own feet sometimes.

    • Fernando 1 year ago

      I agree that Lonnie is the “better” option, but this is more about keeping Santana happy. He wants to be in the field and if he is reduced to a primary DH he may want to be traded, as playing DH everyday diminishes his own value (as a power hitting catcher) considerably. Since he’s our best hitter we need to do all that we can to keep him happy and in Cleveland.

      • brian310 1 year ago

        He can still get into the field pretty often. DH twice a week, catch twice a week, play 1B twice a week then maybe play 3B once a week (in weeks when the team doesn’t have any off-days)

  6. twins33 1 year ago

    I wouldn’t hate De Aza, but I’d give up very little to get him. He’s an average player at best.

    The Twins do have a bunch of OF prospects, but how long would he even be around and can you guarantee the young OF’s will be good or even average? Right now I’d probably put him in LF over Hammer. If Hicks doesn’t show up again, he’s better than Hicks offensively. Even if you want to count Parmelee as an OF, he’s better than Parm.

    No one is blocking Buxton if he turns out to be a good player. If Hicks shows up then De Aza isn’t needed. Within the next two years it’s pretty much Hicks and Buxton, maybe Rosario and no one else so adding De Aza doesn’t really hurt much at all. That’s with penciling in Arcia in RF for the foreseeable future.

    If you can guarantee an OF of Hicks/Buxton/Arcia then yeah, De Aza isn’t needed. If you can’t, then it’s not a bad thing to consider, but like I said, he’s average at best so you shouldn’t give up much for him.

    • 0vercast 1 year ago

      Good summary. If we were to get De Aza, where would you have Willingham playing this season? If he were to DH along with Kubel, that’s a lot of money/talent to have tied up in a DH platoon.

      • brian310 1 year ago

        Sox may have that beat haha

      • twins33 1 year ago

        Hammer at DH, Kubel in AAA.

        I had thought Kubel would be with the team, but so far his performance in spring training has been…not good. He’s striking out in half of his AB’s. Now, spring training is still spring training…but if you can’t hit during that time there is no way I want the team to just hand him a roster spot. It does matter what he does and right now he looks over matched.

        If he was killing it then you should consider him and likely take him north, but you’d also take good/great spring training numbers with a grain of salt. He’s definitely not killing it though and since he has a minor league contract he can easily be sent to AAA with no issue.

        If Kubel goes down to AAA and starts hitting you can always add him to the 40 man and call him up. I think Kubel has an opt out in his contract, if he’s not hitting by then (May/June/July or whenever) and he wants out, oh well…nothing lost.

        • 0vercast 1 year ago

          Yeah, that sounds good if it means Arcia and Hicks get all the playing time they need.

          I cannot source it, but I recall hearing around the time of Kubel’s signing that he and the Twins had a sort of “Gentlemen’s Agreement” that he would be given every possible opportunity to make the team out of Spring Training. I believe his contact is heavily incentive-based depending on that.

    • Sky14 1 year ago

      I don’t mind bringing De Aza on board but not at the expense of playing time for Hicks and Arcia. This likely isn’t going to be a winning season so the young players that are close should be up be given a long leash to adjust.

      • twins33 1 year ago

        Bringing him in should not effect those two players, especially Arcia. Hicks has to earn his way back still, but I would want him to be the starting CF.

        I think this would effect Willingham/Kubel more than the other two.

      • twins33 1 year ago

        Bringing him in should not effect those two players, especially Arcia. Hicks has to earn his way back still, but I would want him to be the starting CF.

        I think this would effect Willingham/Kubel more than the other two.

      • Overbrook 1 year ago

        The Twins signed a couple of decent pitchers as FA so they are at least trying to get respectable for this year. If I were a Twins fan, I wouldn’t want to give up much for De Aza. On the other hand, there’s no reason for the Sox to deal him, especially within the division, without a return with some legit value. Probably no meeting of the minds.

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