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Justin Masterson agrees to 1-year deal with the Indians

So much for the arbitration showdown...

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Masterson and the Indians have avoided the arbitration hearing that was scheduled for Thursday by agreeing to terms on a 1-year deal, which will pay him $9,962,500 in 2014. Masterson had requested $11.8 million, while the team had countered with $8.05M, so this deal comes in just a hair above the midpoint of the two figures.

The $3.75 million that separated the two sides was the largest gap between any team and player this year, which would have created a very high-stakes hearing that would likely have ben especially uncomfortable, so I'm not surprised that they settled.

Masterson and the team could still work out a long-term extension that keeps him in Cleveland for years to come, but I don't think it's especially likely. I think Masterson will leave next offseason when another team is willing to top whatever offer the Indians are willing to make. If the team falls out of contention before the All-Star break, he could even be traded. For the time being though, this deal is good news. It allows Masterson to remain in Goodyear, rather than flying across the country to Florida, and the can now turn his full attention to physically and mentally preparing for the season.