Justin Masterson doesn?t want out. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The Boston Red Sox gave Masterson two options before Friday?s game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium: rejoin the Red Sox and pitch out of the bullpen or make another rehab start with Triple-A Pawtucket. Masterson still hasn?t made a decision regarding his future, but the right-hander admitted Saturday it?s hard to envision asking for a trade right now even without a clear role.
?I don?t know if it?s in my nature to do that, to say, ?Beat it guys, trade me or put me in (the rotation),’ ” Masterson told reporters in Kansas City before Saturday?s contest. ?No, I don’t think that?s the time right now, especially the way I see this team going and the way I believe in this team, too.
?I?d like to be a part of it in some way, shape or form. You can never have too much pitching, especially starting. So if I could be that avenue of guys coming in, where maybe guys need a break or something were to take place, that might be it. Those are the thoughts bouncing through my head as we talk about it. And we have a few days to work through it and see what exactly needs to be done.?
Masterson made it clear his preference is to remain a starter. There simply isn?t a vacancy in the Red Sox?s rotation, though, which the 30-year-old acknowledged while discussing his upcoming decision.
Masterson, who hasn?t pitched in a major league game since May 12, would make his fifth rehab start Monday, if that?s the route he takes. Either way, his rehab clock runs through June 29, at which point Boston will need to add him to the big league roster or make another roster move, like a trade.
?In the end, I feel great, so that?s the thing for me personally,? said Masterson, who has limited relief experience since 2009. ?I feel good and we?ll figure something out.?
The clock is ticking.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images