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Justin Masterson is still discussing an extension with the Indians

Feb 27, 2014, 6:29 PM EDT

Justin Masterson Getty AP

Justin Masterson avoided arbitration with the Indians last week by agreeing to a one-year, $9.7625 million contract, but today he told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the two sides remain in touch about a possible contract extension.

Masterson has the ability to become a free agent after this season, but he expressed optimism about sticking around for the long-term by saying, “I figure somehow, someway I end up still being here for a few more years.” It’s believed that the Indians have made an offer in the range of three or four years while Masterson’s agent, Randy Rowley, has submitted a counteroffer. Masterson is hoping for some sort of resolution before the start of the regular season.

“There’s nothing monumental,” said Masterson, “but we have talked a little bit. I would imagine if something gets done it would be before the season begins. That’s probably where we’re at.”

Masterson turns 29 in March and owns a 4.08 ERA over 135 starts and 10 relief appearances since coming over from Boston in the Victor Martinez trade in 2009. He posted a 3.45 ERA and 195/76 K/BB ratio in 193 innings last year. His 24.3 percent strikeout rate was the best of his career and 13th-highest among qualified starters. It will be interesting to see what he commands in an extension, as Hoynes makes an argument that he is comparable to Homer Bailey, who recently inked a six-year, $105 million extension with the Reds.

  1. number1tribefan - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:38 AM

    Not holding my breath, but I’d still love to see the two sides work out a deal. The Indians will not be players for big name free agent pitchers in the future, just the economic reality of the situation. Therefore, if they could keep one of their own in the fold, it would be a major win for them going forward. Mix that with the plethora of young arms in their system, who are all under team control for some time yet, and Masterson could be the anchor of a very nice core of starting pitchers for several years to come. Might be well worth the largest team contract in history, which I have to assume it would be, given Homer Bailey’s recent cost with the Reds.

    As a Tribe fan, I’d love to see it happen. But there are bigger market teams lurking out there with bigger money once this season is over, so it will be an uphill battle for the Tribe brass to pull this one off.

  2. dcarroll73 - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    This thread and the other recent one about extensions has me wondering whether any of our sabermetrically talented folks have done any analysis of age at free agency, talent level, and what would be optimal extensions. Obviously there are a lot of variables, but are there some general guidelines like “don’t be looking for a contract at age 35”? I think Robbie Cano’s deal probably is at one extreme (great player who manages to sign for at least two years past his likely productive career.) Then you have poor Drew who could have taken his one-year QO but finds himself unable to get two or three years at a similar price (granted he is a fairly underwhelming talent.) So what about guys in between? Is there enough data to make some conclusions?

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