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MLB Storylines: Indians, Masterson avoid arbitration

MLB Storylines: Indians, Masterson avoid arbitration
Justin Masterson went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA last season for the Indians. (Photo:
February 19, 2014
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In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ajnicholsIBI.

Here are the stories from Tuesday, February 18th.

Top Stories

  • The Indians and starter Justin Masterson have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $9.7625 million deal for 2014. Masterson's deal falls slightly below the midpoint of the two numbers the sides exchanged earlier in the winter. Masterson, who will be a free agent after 2014, has made it known that he would be open to discussing a long-term extension with Cleveland even during the season. Cleveland general manager Chris Antonetti has said that he would prefer to try to get something done during Spring Training, to avoid distraction during the season.

Others News and Notes

  • According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, four teams remain in on free agent shortstop Stephen Drew. Bowden speculates that two of the teams are the Red Sox and Mets, but the other two are a mystery. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that the Yankees made Drew an offer earlier in the offseason, but the team does not appear to be one of the four clubs still talking to the shortstop.
  • Bowden also says that despite signing Ubaldo Jimenez on Monday, the Orioles still remain interested in sluggers Nelson Cruz and Kendrys Morales. After forfeiting their first round pick in June's draft to sign Jimenez, Baltimore would only have to part with a second rounder to sign Cruz or Morales. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports noted that Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said: "if you do one, I think that makes the second one easier, frankly." Rosenthal also said that Baltimore seems to favor Cruz over Morales.
  • The Pirates are still looking to add a left-handed hitting first baseman, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN. Pittsburgh will be paying close attention to players like Ike DavisJustin Smoak, and Mitch Moreland this spring to see if they become expendable to their current teams.
  • Jon Heyman of CBS Sports said that the Mariners are showing interest in lefty Chris Capuano and the two sides continue to talk. Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Red Sox have also been talking to Capuano.
  • LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star-Tribune reported that Johan Santana reuniting with the Twins seemed like a foregone conclusion at one point this winter, but multiple teams have now shown more interest in the free agent lefty.
  • Shi Davidi of noted that Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said that Toronto made serious attempts to sign pitchers Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez.
  • The Braves have released Matt Gamel after he re-injured his knee during personal workouts last week. Gamel was attempting to return to action after multiple ACL surgeries.

User Comments

February 20, 2014 - 10:40 AM EST
One thing to remember with Bailey....the free agent value of this deal is 5yr/$96M as $9M of that $105M is for 2014 when he was still under control.

Still insane money but not that far off what guys like Carlos Zambrano and Adam Wainwright got. While I know Wainwright has been better (a lot) than Bailey, need to remember this:

Bailey will be 33 in the last guaranteed year of his deal (only 32 on opening day of that year)...Wainwright's extension starts this year...when he is already 32 (and turns 33 during the year).

Teams are paying a ton for's the new trend, whether we agree with it or not...
February 20, 2014 - 1:46 AM EST
Oh, thanks Tony! That makes it an annual average of $17.5m for six years, to just shy of $18m if it goes to seven years.
February 20, 2014 - 12:16 AM EST
The buyout is always included in the total value of the contract, so it is a 6 year deal worth a guaranteed $105M.
February 20, 2014 - 12:09 AM EST
Its close Seth, but according to the reports, a seventh year is part of the deal as an option at $25m, or a $5m buyout. Making it a minimum of a $110m contract, or a maximum $130m contract.

So, on the low side, 6 years at $110m, equals about $18.3m per year (as he gets the final year buyout). The high side amounts to about $18.6m (if he fulfills all 7 years of the deal).

So then for Justin, if comparable, $18.3m at five years would be $91.5m, or five years at $18.6m is $93m.

Both of which are quite a bit more than I had previously estimated he might be in line for (five years at $70m-$80m = $14m/year to $16m/year).

Thus my silly comment about underestimating his potential value. Does that make sense?
February 19, 2014 - 11:37 PM EST
Really dumb by the reds. I'm guessing he would have signed for 5/75. And his 7th year buyout is 5!

He was 11 -12 last year with a 3.5! Crazy. He's 33 -29 over last 3 yrs with a 3.8!! These great numbers in the NL no less. Just absurd.
February 19, 2014 - 9:32 PM EST
I think 5/80 for Masterson is actually about what the Bailey deal would say a Masterson extension would look like. He's a year older, and that's a similar AAV to what Bailey got.
February 19, 2014 - 6:15 PM EST
Re Homer Bailey, I mentioned a few weeks ago that I thought Justin was going to be hoping to have a great year and then get 5 years at $70m-$80m and there were a number of statements about how there's no way JM could get that many years or that much dough. Looking at Homer's deal, it's pretty obvious that I underestimated his earning potential. 8--)

I don't think it's overstating the situation to say that Justin has his target within sights as of today. Not sure if he'll get anywhere near what Homer just got, but you can be damn sure that JM (and his agent) thinks he can, and IMO this deal spells the end of any speculation that he's going to sign long-term with the Tribe. That's over.
February 19, 2014 - 4:36 PM EST
Based on the Bailey signing I think this will be the last year that Masterson pitches for the Indians, Bailey contract is insane. Reds are in a win now mode. If this backfires, we could have a fire sale by the reds down the road

I hope Masterson has a career year and help the Indians to October Post Season.

I wonder which team going to offer E Santana a contract. Look like he is the Kyle Lohse of 2014.
February 19, 2014 - 4:07 PM EST

I don't think it's just Reds fans that think Latos is better. Gotta imagine he'll want at least that much next winter if not more...
February 19, 2014 - 3:39 PM EST
The problem is a lot of Reds fans down here feel that Latos who is younger than Bailey is there best pitcher. Cueto, Latos and Leake within 2 years are eligible for FA. Already on the books they have Votto at 20 mil and Phillips at 16 mil.
February 19, 2014 - 3:31 PM EST
That money is insane. He's one pitch away from being an albatross around the Reds neck for 5-6 years.
February 19, 2014 - 3:29 PM EST
I really like Bailey.....but damn that's a lot of money. I get the new trend of paying youth (Bailey is very young for a near free agent starter) but still crazy money.
February 19, 2014 - 3:13 PM EST
Homer Bailey has agreed to 6 yr 105 mil contract with option of 7th year worth 25mil or 5 mil buyout per WLW flagship of the reds.
February 19, 2014 - 2:02 PM EST
Tony, the fact you had to explain that to Joey tells you all you need to know about his brain. Wow.
February 19, 2014 - 1:24 PM EST
Joey, the purpose of this piece is just a daily rundown of the news with the Indians and MLB. A good piece for Indians fans to keep abreast of news and collected from various news sites. The origin of the news is always noted and this piece in no way tries to come off as a firsthand news piece. It is in the same vein of MLBTradeRumors who pool together all the news from all the other sites.

I rather like this's not meant to be anything more than it is....which is a quick summary of notable news from the past day.
February 19, 2014 - 11:30 AM EST

I don't understand your beef. I never knew that, espn, fox, other main stream media otulets have exclusive rights to stories and rumors. You think they dont steal from other sites also. With Twitter and other social media outlets it is now harder to have an exclusive. News that is new know would be old news within an hour with current new technology.

I have no problem of getting rumors across the country and printed on this site. It saves me time from looking at other sites.
February 19, 2014 - 11:28 AM EST

You do realize that 90% of stuff posted on is simply info "stolen" from other places right? It's simply a one-stop shop for info/rumors for baseball fans.

This recurring article is the same. Don't see the big deal here.
February 19, 2014 - 11:00 AM EST
So we just copy what, or MLB trade rumors? Is that where this site is? Then we can give the crowd a place to come on over and ride their fences. Blog hiding behind being a news site that steals its news from other sites. Brilliant. Find non-creative writers who can steal information from other sites. This guy wrote that Santana was going to pitch in a showcase, as though he actually did the work to get the information. WAHOO, what a rush of garbage.
Andy N.
February 19, 2014 - 10:39 AM EST
I wrote something in here a couple weeks ago or so that Santana was going to have a showcase in the future, but I'm not sure if it has happened yet or not. I do know that I saw that he is ahead of schedule and feeling good, so maybe he would be ready before June. I don't know that for sure though.
February 19, 2014 - 10:39 AM EST
I doubt the Tribe is one of the 4 teams reportedly in on Drew....but the idea of us being in on him does kind of intrigue me.

If you could find a taker for Cabrera and actually get something of say a starting pitcher, could be worth it IMO. The idea of giving him an opt out after 1 year wouldn't bother me either as Lindor should hopefully be ready by opening day 2015 (if not possibly sooner). And even if he doesn't opt out, has said he's open to moving off short....could make a nice 3B option that can provide depth at short in case Lindor struggles.

Again, an extremely unlikely scenario....but an outside the box idea...

...the Tribe was very high on Drew in the draft (demands were reportedly too high) and have ties to the Drew family....
February 19, 2014 - 10:36 AM EST
Did Santana have recent throwing session that multiple teams are now interested in him? I thought he would not be ready until June. The next Kazmir that the Indians should take a flier on.
February 19, 2014 - 10:36 AM EST
Part of me was hoping Masterson was gonna be the guy that went to a way does he win that case and would have saved the Tribe double what the other two cases saved. But on the other hand that probably wouldn't have bode well for future extension talks. Didn't break the bank (though more than I thought he should get).
February 19, 2014 - 10:31 AM EST
Golf Clap !!

Can someone explain how an agent, given parameters for a contract, can make negotiation a distraction for a player? Come on, it's get the deal/final offer in place and show me where to sign.. How distracting can that be?..

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