The odds of the Indians reaching a contract extension with right-hander Justin Masterson appeared favorable earlier this month, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is reporting that talks have broken off.
Exact terms of Masterson’s demands aren’t known, but Rosenthal hears that he was believed to be asking for a three-year deal valued at less than the $17.5 million AAV (average annual value) on Homer Bailey’s recent six-year, $105 million extension with the Reds. The Indians were not receptive to the proposal and talks failed to progress, making it likely that Masterson will try his luck on the free agent market after the season.
Masterson, who turns 29 on Saturday, is coming off a 3.45 ERA and 195/76 K/BB ratio over 193 innings last season. If he can duplicate those numbers this year, he should be in fine position to land a lucrative deal on the open market.
UPDATE: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Indians countered Masterson’s proposal at two years with a team option valued at around $14 million per season.
Third baseman Anthony Rendon is reportedly open to a contract extension with the Nationals, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post said Sunday. Rendon told reporters that he didn’t know if agent Scott Boras would discuss an extension with the club, contrary to previous reports confirming the two had already started that conversation.
Rendon, 27, is coming off of his best career year to date. He finished the 2017 season batting .301/.403/.533 with 25 home runs and 100 RBI through 605 plate appearances, good enough to earn him sixth place in NL MVP voting. He made his third postseason appearance after helping Nationals through the National League Division Series, and contributed a pair of extra-base hits before the team was eliminated by the Cubs in Game 5.
Rendon is still arbitration-eligible through 2019, but stands to receive a hefty payday once he enters free agency in 2020. While it stands to reason that the Nats would want to lock up a player who contributed a whopping 6.9 fWAR last year, making him the most valuable player on their roster, an extension appeals to Rendon as well. “Why not stay with one organization?” he said Sunday. The 2018 season will be his sixth with the team.