There have been many rumblings surrounding Justin Masterson’s contract status with the Cleveland Indians, and they have ranged from long-term extension talks to the two sides potentially going all the way to arbitration. On Tuesday afternoon, the two sides came to agreement that should silence some of that.
Confirmed: #Indians avoid arbitration with Justin Masterson. It’s a one-year deal. Masterson’s agent was at camp today. Deal done tonight.
— Nick Camino (@NickCaminoWTAM) February 18, 2014
Multiple outlets are reporting that the Indians and Masterson have agreed to a 1-year contract, and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports brings us the details on the financial agreement.
Masterson gets $9.7625M, below midpoint. #indians
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) February 18, 2014
It’s a bit of a surprise to see Masterson settle for less than the midpoint between the two sides, but perhaps his representation simply decided to avoid the controversy. In 2013, the now 28-year-old Masterson had one of the best seasons of his career, transforming himself into a strikeout pitcher with a career high 9.09 strikeouts per 9 innings, and putting up a stellar ERA of 3.45 in 193 innings of American League ball.
On the open market, a player with Masterson’s list of accomplishments would have commanded much more than the $9.7625 million that he reportedly received, but that is the nature of the arbitration process. He’ll be tasked with repeating that big-time level of production, and if he can, the big payday will be at the end of the rainbow.