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Cleveland Indians: 'very high likelihood' team ends up in arbitration hearing

The Cleveland Indians have significant players who have filed for arbitration: Justin Masterson, Michael Brantley, Vinnie Pestano, and Josh Tomlin.

They are the farthest apart with Masterson and Brantley. The team has gone the last 23 years without an arbitration hearing. Put another way: Brantley was three years old the last time the Indians actually had an arbitration case go to a hearing.

Paul Hoynes of Northeast Ohio Media Group writes that general manager Chris Antonetti is expecting his streak to end this year:

The streak of negotiating peace could be coming to an end.

‘I think there’s a very high likelihood that we’ll end up in a hearing this year,’ said GM Chris Antonetti.

Hoynes also points out that Masterson, while he commands the most money, has been in talks with the team about a long-term contract extension.

While the $3.5 million separating Masterson and the Indians is significant, it doesn’t seem likely that they’d be headed to a hearing with him while talks on a multiyear deal are still taking place. The potential acrimony of a hearing could endanger a long-term contract.

The other three players don’t have Masterson’s leverage or service time.”

He notes that Brantley is under team control for three more years and had some contract talks with the team that fizzled. If his is the case that proceeds, it will be up to an arbitrator to decide what Brantley and his 2.7 bWAR in 2013 is worth. 

Antonetti does not know who it will be yet, but he thinks the organization is headed for a hearing in 2014.

Tags: Cleveland Indians Justin Masterson Michael Brantley

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