It appears discussions about a multiyear deal for Justin Masterson have been shelved while the Indians and his agent, Randy Rowley, work toward a one-year deal with or without the arbitration process. Masterson’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for Feb. 20 in St. Petersburg, Fla. There is a $3.75 million difference between what Masterson is seeking for the 2014 season and what the Indians have offered. It’s the biggest difference among any unsigned player who filed for arbitration this winter. The 6-6, 250-pound Masterson filed at $11.8 million. The Indians countered at $8.05 million. The midpoint is $9.925 million. Masterson led the Indians with 14 wins last season. The fact that he can be a free agent at the end of the upcoming season makes these negotiations, and any that could follow on a multiyear deal, more compelling. Both sides have said they are open to a multiyear deal, but it’s believed those talks have gained little, if any, traction. Outfielder Michael Brantley and right-hander Vinnie Pestano and Josh Tomlin are eligible for arbitration as well. Brantley filed at $3.8 million and the Indians offered $2.7 million. Pestano filed at $1.145 million and the Indians offered $975,000. Tomlin, who pitched just two innings for the Tribe last year, filed at $975,000 and the Indians offered $800,000. Tomlin’s hearing is scheduled for Feb. 14 in St. Petersburg. The Indians have not gone to arbitration since 1991, but recently GM Chris Antonetti said there was a strong chance they could go this year.
Justin Masterson, Indians shelve multiyear talks, concentrate on 1-year deal
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Jan 28