Indians Forced To Make Unpopular Call, Yet The Correct One


The news that contract negotioations have ended between The Indians and RHP Justin Masterson has brought on an uproar from the Cleveland fan base. You will hear jeers about the “cheapskate Dolans” and how they don’t care about this team. We will hear about how the Indians are crazy and a disappointment because they wouldn’t pay Masterson what he wanted. This is purely fan talk and we are all guilty of it. We love Masterson. He is a young pitcher with filthy stuff. He is a fun loving jokester who appears to like playing in Cleveland. What is not to like. We want him to stay and never leave.

The hard truth is that he is asking for $17 Million a year. This would make him the highest paid Indians player of all time at age 28. Homer Baily did this whole situation in when he signed a six year $105 million dollar deal with the Cincinnati Reds. Baily is Masterson’s equal as far as the market in Major League Baseball is concerned. Baily’s deal gets him on average $17.5 Million a year, which is absurd considering he was 11-12 with a 3.49 ERA last season. Over the last three seasons Masterson is 37-35 with a 3.86 ERA and Homer is 33-29 with a 3.79 ERA. Bailey is 27 and Masty is 28 and most importantly they both have unhittable stuff when at their best. You can see why a connection has been made when comparing their worth to a baseball organization.

Lets’s be honest though about what both of them really are. They are not true ace’s. They are good but at times erratic and neither has proven that they are anything close to being worth $17 Million a year. The Indians came to Masterson with $14 Million a year over three years. That is not a weak offer my friends and is also not enough now that the Market has been set. It doesn’t help that Masterson is the Tribe’s Union representative and would be looked at as if he was doing his fellow player a disservice if he didn’t drive the market up for his fellow player.

The real truth is that the Indians can afford a payroll around $80,000,000 a year. It is hard to compete with the over $100 Mill Clubs in this sport but the Indians have. In fact, they are the only team in this town that has not been a complete joke in the recent past. They have found a way to win with fewer resources than the competition. This is not done by paying an “at his best” 14 game winner $17 Million a year. The Indians have to win by knowing when to say no, even when it is unpopular. Cleveland is a mid-market baseball city and in order to compete it takes some finesse.

I think Chris Antonetti and the Indians front office have done a great job of putting together a team full of very talented young players and created a winning clubhouse by hiring the right manager and bringing in the right type of people. Once again, this is the only franchise in Cleveland where you can say that and point to actual results on the field. The Indians go about their business the correct way and in turn have a real core of players in place that can win here. I am not going to argue with that because the makings of this team started when everyone was saying the same garbage about letting Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia get away. I trust these guys to make a winning baseball decision. If that means finding another 10-15 game winner who doesn’t cost as much as a Cy young winner then that’s what that means. I would rather see Michael Brantley(Extension Signed) and Jason Kipnis(Still needs an Extension) here long term. Making this deal with Masterson would have made a deal with Kipnis very difficult. Lets see what happens before we start pointing fingers. Oh, and by the way, There is a guy name Danny Salazar who just may end up being an Ace in this rotation. What happens when its time to pay him and Masterson is smack in the middle of another .500 season that cost us 1/4 of the payroll?

By: Brad Ward

Follow @Brad_Ward12 on Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By :