Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Masterson: 'We're trying to see if we're being too stubborn or not'

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.”

As Hoynes notes, part of Masterson’s motivation might stem from the fact that his colleagues, Vinnie Pestano and Josh Tomlin, both lost their arbitration hearings with the club earlier this month.

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.

Tags: Cleveland Indians Justin Masterson

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