It appears Justin Masterson is headed into his final season with the Indians, as multiple sources are reporting on Twitter that contract extension talks between the two sides have fallen through. Ken Rosenthal mentioned it first, and a few minutes later Paul Hoynes said the same.
The two sides had reportedly been trying to work out a multiyear extension after previously agreeing to terms for 2014 ($9.76 million), and when Masterson was reportedly looking for an additional three years at $16-18 million a season, it seemed likely that something would get worked out, but apparently not. Masterson has had a great spring thus far, with 14 strikeouts and just 2 walks in 13 innings, all without allowing a run. He's scheduled to start Opening Day for the third year in a row, and seems primed to have a big year, which would earned him far more than the contract that's been mentioned.
Of course, there's no way for us to know exactly what that offer was**, and to this point, we don't have a clear sense of why discussions have been called off. In any event, this is disappointing news, with the season only 11 days from starting. Obviously the Indians could still re-sign Masterson down the road, but the odds of what are now severely diminished, to the point where considering it a "longshot" still feels like overstating the possibility.
**Update: Jon Heyman reports Masterson was asking for $17M a year, while the Indians were offering something like $14M, and were leery of going higher than that due to concerns about arbitration raises coming for other players in the next couple years. If true, ownership can expect to be heavily criticized.
It will be interesting to hear what the buzz around this news is in camp tomorrow.