Justin Masterson has one season remaining before free agency, with a big payday coming via arbitration, but the Indians right-hander is hoping to sign a long-term contract extension before hitting the open market.
Masterson’s agent, Randy Rowley (agent’s have great names, huh?), told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he’d like to talk to the Indians about a deal but isn’t in a hurry. As for the Indians, general manager Chris Antonetti said it’s “potentially” something to broach between now and spring training.
Usually when a good player is just a year away from free agency the motivation to sign an extension is minimal and Masterson is 29 years old coming off his first All-Star season, but if the Indians are willing to hand out a big five- or six-year offer? Sounds like he’d be interested.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”