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Indians, Masterson agree to avoid arbitration



Published: Wed, February 19, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.

The Plain Dealer

GOODYEAR, Ariz.

Justin Masterson did not have to fly to St. Petersburg, Fla., on Tuesday because he and the Indians reached a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.

Masterson signed for $9,762,500. It was just below the midpoint of the parties’ two filing numbers. Masterson filed at $11.8 million and the Indians countered at $8.05 million.

Before the deal was announced, Masterson said that significant progress was made Monday night.

“We’ve done some work,” said Masterson. “Honestly, I think we’re really close to making something happen without flying. We’ve both moved a little bit,” he said. “We’re both trying to make something happen.”

Masterson and his agent, Randy Rowley, were scheduled to fly to St. Petersburg on Tuesday afternoon. His arbitration case was scheduled for Thursday. The midpoint of the two offers was $9.925 million.

Masterson, the Indians’ No.1 starter, went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA last season. The 6-5, 250-pound right-hander made $5,687,500 last year. He is now the fourth-highest paid player on the team behind Nick Swisher ($15 million), Michael Bourn ($13.5M) and Asdrubal Cabrera ($10M).

The Indians’ arbitration season is over. They won decisions against right-handers Vinnie Pestano and Josh Tomlin before settling with Masterson.

“It’s great to have it all done,” said GM Chris Antonetti. “Our clear preference in each of the cases was to negotiate settlements. We’re happy to be able to do that in Justin’s case.

“Our preference would have been able to do that with all of the games, but we just weren’t able to align on value.”

The Indians had gone 22 years without having a player go to arbitration.


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