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MLB Trade Rumors: Indians “listening to offers” for Justin Masterson

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cleveland Indians are listening to trade offers for Justin Masterson as front offices gather in Orlando for this year’s winter meetings.

As has been reported earlier this winter, Masterson is entering his walk year. Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported earlier this offseason that Masterson was looking for an extension in the five-year, $75 million range so it is conceivable that the team does not feel comfortable about their chances working an extension.  Masterson is expected to receive $9.7 million in his final arbitration-eligible season of 2014.

In 2013, the 28-year-old  posted a 3.45 ERA and 195/76 K/BB ratio over 193 innings, winning 14 games.  He dealt with an oblique injury at the end of the regular season, ultimately sliding him into a role within the bullpen, but is expected to be fully healthy for the start of spring training

Indians.com beat writer Jordan Bastian followed up the Rosenthal report, saying that fans should “not read too much” into it as the team is simply doing their due diligence.

[Related: The Diff: What’s up with Justin Masterson’s Indians future?]

 

  • mgbode

    Masterson for Price!!!! Start the rumors now!

  • nj0

    One more year of control! That’s actually a move I’d make, though I can’t see why in the world the Rays would do it.

    Masterson will be a tough guy to trade imo. He’s not a world beater, has obvious issues (platoon splits), his best years weren’t all that great, and he’s been up and down year to year. He’s kinda like an Ubaldo with lower highs and highers lows. Curious what kinda market there would be for him. If you’re talking starting pitching, I can’t imagine it’d be anything better than a SP prospect that hasn’t done proven in the majors. But what do I know?

    Side note: I love that Masterson is Jamaican.

  • Jason Hurley

    Make it jucier. Masterson and Zobrist to TOR, Price and J. Bautista to CLE, and Santana and random-guy-that-TB-would-covet-that-I-have-no-idea-about-from-TOR’s-system to TB.
    Also, the Dolans would need to rob a bank in order to pay for all of it. Who do we know that works in a bank that can help with an inside job?

  • woofersus

    Well, the Rays would save 5 million dollars or so that might help them sign a first baseman or catcher, but it’s unlikely they are willing to part with Price for a one year guy regardless.

    I think Masterson has some value, but only to a team that needs one more quality starter right now. Don’t forget, he pitched over 200 innings in both 2011 and 2012, and 193 despite missing his last few starts last year. Teams do value innings eaters. I think more than likely the Indians are just testing the waters at the moment, but it’s unlikely we will be able to retain Masterson at this point, so I’m bracing myself for a trade before the end of the year at least.

  • nj0

    True… I’m sure there are teams out there that would want him. Just think it’s probably a limited number.

  • ToxicToast

    I think 5 years at $75 million is pretty reasonable for Masterson. I understand that the Indians are a Small Market Team (TM) and that’s a good chunk of annual payroll. But even if they need to sell off players in 2015 or 2016, he’d still get a nice return.

  • mgbode

    $15mil/year for Masterson in his prime does seem to be a reasonable deal. Especially, if that is what they are asking (as agents tend to ask for more and accept less).

    And, good point that he would likely be a tradeable player at that pricepoint (barring injury or complete decline).

  • woofersus

    All true. The big question is if the Indians can lock him up for 5 years and ~65 million, will they pay it? Can they? They can structure the contract so that the last two years are the most expensive, but they have to be careful how far they go with that if they want him to remain tradeable and not risk crippling themselves in 2016-2017.

  • nj0

    I really don’t see Masterson taking $13M a year. Qualifying offers this year were $14.1M and those were universally rejected.

  • nj0

    Reasonable for whom? I’ve heard predictions for Matt Garza at 4yrs at $16M a year and he has more question marks around him than Masterson does at this point.

  • mgbode

    Reasonable deal for the Indians. I cheer for the team.

  • mgbode

    QO is also a 1 year deal. That plays into it as players are often more willing to sign for less per year if you give them more years.

  • nj0

    The QO next year is probably going to be about $15M.

    I know you’re trying to keep hope alive, but Masterson isn’t taking $15m a year.

  • nj0

    Gotcha… so file this with “STL is trading the farm for Asdrubal”. What we really need to do is fleece the Mariners. Been a few years since we’ve done that.

  • mgbode

    not me. it’s specifically mentioned in the article that Masterson is looking for a 5yr / $75mil deal.

  • mgbode

    the PD is reporting Masterson is looking for a 5yr $75mil deal. not sure why the number isn’t higher, but we should be signing him (not listening to offers) if it is true. that’s why I was calling it a reasonable deal.

  • nj0

    Lol… my fault, my fault…. Stopped reading after the tweet….

    Yeah, I don’t put much stock in Hoynes outside of straight reporting. And even then. I wonder if that’s $15M AFTER arbitration or including this coming 3rd year. Either way, I think that’s a great deal.

  • nj0

    Lol… my fault, my fault…. Stopped reading after the tweet….

    Yeah, I don’t put much stock in Hoynes outside of straight reporting. And even then. I wonder if that’s $15M AFTER arbitration or including this coming 3rd year. Either way, I think that’s a great deal.

  • nj0

    Hindsight being 20/20, wish we would have extended him last year after his down 2012. Could have got a deal.

  • nj0

    Hindsight being 20/20, wish we would have extended him last year after his down 2012. Could have got a deal.

  • Steve

    I’m wondering if that’s not quite accurate. It’s attributed to Hoynes, and I can’t find anywhere Hoynes actually seems to have written that, and know that if Hoynes actually did report it, it would be pretty widespread knowledge, and seemingly no one knew that before last night.

  • Steve

    And Crain’s gets a on-the-record from Francona taking away all our fun speculation.

  • “Sometime this offseason the Indians are expected to take another run at Masterson regarding a multiyear deal. Mlbtraderumors speculates that Masterson is in line for a five-year deal worth between the $65 million John Danks received with the White Sox and the $85 million Jered Weaver received from the Angels.”

    http://www.cleveland.com/tribe/index.ssf/2013/11/gm_meetings_expected_to_start.html

    Hoynes, citing outside financial-based thoughts. MLBTR has a solid track record for getting these right. Perhaps I shouldn’t have attributed it wholly to Paul, but the numbers still stand.

  • nj0

    Hate to complain, but reporting that he is seeking a deal and mlbtraderumors.com speculating on said deal are two very different things. Thanks for the correction though.

    I still think he is going to ask for a lot more than people think. Free agent salaries seem to be getting crazy.

  • saggy

    the Yankees. book it.
    Tribe gets their top catching prospect and some minor league arm, sends them to TB for Price.

  • mgbode

    ugh. a month old article and it doesn’t say that is what Masterson was seeking. yeah, nevermind. oh well.

  • nj0

    God, I love that man.

  • Yeah, that’s my fault. I should’ve worded that a lot better.

  • nj0

    Probably not a big deal unless you’re like me and have a slow work week combined with an unhealthy obsession with the winter meetings.

  • Steve

    Just FYI, it seems like rotoworld picked up your report almost verbatim.