The Indians and starting pitcher Justin Masterson will soon discuss a multiyear deal, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer reports. We project Masterson will make $9.7MM in his final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason, after which he is eligible for free agency.
GM Chris Antonetti said last month he would like sign Masterson for the long term. Hoynes notes that Masterson's agent, Randy Rowley, indicated at the time that he wanted to see how the market for free-agent pitching developed. With Masahiro Tanaka's situation stalling pitching signings, Rowley may not have gotten the information he hoped to receive, but Masterson and the Indians are set to exchange arbitration figures next Friday. Hoynes notes that the Indians have not undergone an arbitration hearing with a player since 1991.
MLBTR's Tim Dierkes suggests that a five-year deal for Masterson might cost the Indians somewhere between $65MM and $85MM. With a salary near $10MM all but set for 2014 and Masterson being eligible for free agency as a 29-year-old after that, such a deal would likely be in line with his market value. Masterson posted a 3.45 ERA with 9.1 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 193 innings last season.