Justin Masterson is open to a long-term deal with Indians

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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.

Indians to sign Tyler Clippard

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Jon Heyman reports that the Indians are signing Tyler Clippard to a minor league deal. He’ll make $1.75 million if he makes the big league roster.

Clippard, a 12-year veteran who just turned 34, pitched in 73 games for the Blue Jays last year, posting a 3.67 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 85/23 in 68.2 innings. It was a nice bounce back year for him after he spent 2017 bouncing among three different teams in the course of a below average campaign.

With the departures of Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, and the elevation of Brad Hand to the closer’s role, Terry Francona will be looking for all the mid-innings help he can get in the Indians’ pen. Clippard could fit that bill.