This spring, Indians right hander Justing Masterson is busy trying to settle back into the groove he found last season on his way to becoming one of the club's most reliable pitchers. However, that isn't keeping him from thinking about the future. He hinted that a multiyear extension could be in the works, and that he expects to be with the team for "a few more years," as Cleveland.com's Paul Hoynes reports.
Masterson, who turns 29 later this month, is set to become a free agent after the season, but Cleveland appears to be attempting to secure him for a few more seasons.
Randy Rowley, Masterson's agent, confirmed that the two sides have been discussing an extension. Masterson's comments hinted that, while negotiations are taking place, nothing is certain.
"There’s nothing monumental, but we have talked a little bit. I would imagine if something gets done it would be before the season begins. That’s probably where we’re at."
Based on his comment that included the phrase "a few more years," it's probable that Masterson won't be looking at the same kind of deal that Homer Bailey just signed with the Reds -- six years, $105 million. Masterson is a little over a year older than Bailey, and he hasn't been quite as consistent as his fellow Ohioan -- having posted a 4.50 ERA in three of the last five seasons. On the other hand, he was excellent last year, and had a solid 2011 season as well. He's pitched at least 180 innings in each of the last four years, and his career-low WHIP and career-high strikeout rate in 2013 was promising.
Hoynes mentions that the club is believed to have offered Masterson a deal in "the three- or four-year range."