Indians All-Star starter Justin Masterson asked for $11.8 million in salary arbitration, a figure that’s $3.75 million above the club’s offer for 2014.
Masterson’s gap — the Indians are offering $8.05 million — is the largest among pending cases.
Masterson went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA in 32 appearances last season, when he was the Indians’ most dependable starter. He was sidelined late in the season with a side injury, but returned to help the Tribe clinch a wild-card spot.
The Indians have discussed a long-term deal with Masterson’s agents. The 28-year-old has developed into a front-of-the-rotation pitcher, and with Ubaldo Jimenez currently a free agent, Masterson is clearly the team’s ace — a bargaining chip in negotiations.
Left fielder Michael Brantley, who batted .284 with 10 homers and 73 RBI in 2013 has asked for $3.8 million, with the Indians countering with an offer of $2.7 million
Pitchers Vinnie Pestano ($1.45 million vs. $975,000) and Josh Tomlin ($975,000 vs. $800,000) also swapped figures. The Indians haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing since 1991.
The Minnesota Twins and right-hander Anthony Swarzak agreed to a $935,000, one-year contract, avoiding arbitration. … The Texas Rangers agreed to a minor-league deal with former Tribe left-hander Rafael Perez that includes an invitation to major-league spring training.