The thing about “not going to arbitration since 1991?” Well, with a number of Indians players up for a hearing, you can just about put an end to the idea of that streak stretching to a 23rd year.

On the docket: Michael Brantley, Vinnie Pestano, Josh Tomlin and Justin Masterson.

And if the Indians were hoping to lock up their horse soon, it appears now that they will have to wait a little bit longer.

Now, there’s no reason to panic. Justin isn’t going anywhere for the time being, so there’s no real sense of urgency to get something done long-term right now. But with Masterson’s camp and the Indians trying to figure out how to bridge the $3.75 million gap (Masterson is seeking $11.8 million while the Indians have countered with $8.05 million) heading towards the arbitration hearing, you can hear the faint ticking of the proverbial clock if you listen closely enough.

So now the plan is to put a one-year band-aid to give some more negotiation wiggle room, according to Hoynsie.

Masterson is clearly vital to this team, so he’ll probably get the long-term deal that he deserves in due time, so don’t go breaking out in cold sweats. He doesn’t seem to be the type to get fussy with all of the back and forth, and it just feels like something will get done eventually.

Also on the extension front is Jason Kipnis. Although neither side has talked as of yet, he suspects that there will be conversation during spring training. So keep your eyes peeled for that as well.

Two weeks until pitchers and catchers report! Hopefully we’ll have some concrete news to pass along soon!


  • Aaron says:

    Dear Cleveland Front Office, sign them to long extensions. Use that salary cap space, pay out players what they deserve and you will keep your fans. Stop lowballing these guys who are vital to our organization. If any of these core guys go, we are screwed. So please as a life long Tribe fan, resign these guys. Plus why not sing Burnett? He’s a free agent and a better track record than Ubaldo.

  • Sean Porter says:

    Salary cap space?

  • Gvl Steve says:

    It is hard to believe that Masterson will sign an extension now. There is no reason to when the free agent waters can be tested in just one year with a ceiling that stretches higher and higher every year. Historically, once guys reach their 3rd year of arbitration, it is too late for the hometown team to lock them up for any kind of discount. Even valuing Masterson as only a fringe #1 or solid #2 starter, that means pretty big money. The lowball arbitration figure won’t help either. The team might try to use their money now to sign Jimenez and trade Masterson. We all know they can’t afford both.

  • The Doctor says:

    masterson is one of those players who is worth way more to the indians than he would be to another team, if for no other reason than we don’t have a very deep (or good) starting pitching staff.

    i certainly want to retain him, but considering the wild overpay offers he’s likely to get on the open market, it seems like there is a solid chance he’s going to leave. just because he’s OUR “ace” doesn’t mean we should pay him like an ace – he isn’t one. 85 million for 5 years is the deal i keep seeing thrown about as a baseline for him – and i think you could make a pretty strong argument that he isn’t worth that.

    masterson is the sort of guy that IF he goes somewhere else, he’s really going to disappoint whoever signs him.

  • S. Kern says:

    Why own a major league team if you are not willing to overspend in order to win a championship? If you are not willing to spend big money, and sometimes spend too much on players, then get out as an owner!

    • Chris says:

      That’s what I say. Yeah, what’s the point then. They bring up players and you have to worry about when they are going to take off for free agency. Like they are jerking around with this Masterson thing, just sign him, jeez. Or keep him, and then grab up Ervin Santana or something.

      Ubaldo was good toward the end of the season, but he could be like a Jekyl and Hyde pitcher, He would look like a great top of the line type of guy. and then he would be in one game where he goes 2 innings 8 hits, 9 runs 6 walks, etc.

      Reminds me of Bartolo Colon, he would do that, look like an ace of a pitcher one time, and then one time get ousted in 2 innings.

      I hope they keep Kipnis, he is my favorite player on the team and their best, they have to lock him up, They need to have their guys, like other teams have their guys. like Chris Davis should sign on with the Orioles long term, he will be one of their guys like Ripken and Eddie Murray used to be. Baltimore was a long time proud organization brought to life last year.

      The Indians figured out what it took to win in the mid 90s, with help of Jacobs Field of course. Then they act like its a certainty that all these guys HAVE to fly away to other teams in free agency. You can’t build anything if you keep letting that happen, you can’t get any traction in running an organization.

      • Sean Porter says:

        One thing to remember, the Indians were frontrunner’s when it came to locking up their young players to early contracts, in essence buying out a few years of their free agency. I get the impression that is not so easy to do anymore, the agents caught on.

        Even those 90s Tribe teams eventually lost Thome, Belle, Rameriz, etc to free agency too…

        MLB needs an honest-to-god salary cap in the worst way.

  • Gary Humberson says:

    Kluber, McCalister, Salazar, Marcum, Tomlin, Bauer…thats not a bad staff and has potential. Trade Masterson for a big bat. Go Tribe!!!