Justin Masterson, the number one starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, made $5.75 million in 2013. He earned that salary and then some, going 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA and a career-best 1.202 WHIP.
For his work, he believes he should earn $11.8 million to again pitch baseballs for the Indians in 2014. The team believes he should earn $8.05 million. With no productive talks, whether about a one year deal or a longer extenstion, it looks like the sides might be headed for an arbitration hearing (scheduled for Friday 2/20).
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer caught up with Masterson, who said he is still hoping to avoid a hearing:
We’re trying to see if we’re being too stubborn or not…We’re trying to be smart and reasonable. We’re definitely moving a little bit here and there to see what can happen.”
Some dominoes have fallen to bring clarity to Masterson’s situation. Ubaldo Jimenez signed with the Baltimore Orioles tonight (though a return to Cleveland was a remote possibility, at best). Additionally, Masterson’s fellow front-line starter Homer Bailey is reportedly on the verge of a $100 million deal with the Cincinnati Reds, which probably approaches the number Masterson would want if he signed such a deal.
For now, the two sides have a little bit more than 48 hours to settle on a deal to avoid the oft-ugly hearing process.