Justin Masterson and the Cleveland Indians are looking to determine the pitcher’s 2014 salary before moving on to bigger things.
Discussions between the Indians and Masterson’s agent, Randy Rowley, regarding a multiyear contract have been shelved, according to Paul Hoynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. The two sides reportedly are focused on reaching a one-year deal, with or without the arbitration process.
This doesn’t mean that Masterson, who is set to become a free agent next offseason, won’t eventually ink a multiyear contract with the Tribe. Rather, it speaks to the gap between the two sides in the arbitration process.
Masterson filed for arbitration at $11.8 million, and the Indians countered at $8.05 million. The $3.75 million difference reportedly is the largest gap among any unsigned players who filed for arbitration this winter.
Masterson, who turns 29 in March, went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA in 2013 after struggling a bit in 2012. The right-hander and the Indians have said that they are open to a multiyear contract, but, according to Hoynes, it’s believed that those talks have gained little, if any, traction.
Masterson’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for Feb. 20 if a deal for 2014 isn’t worked out by then.