Cleveland Indians sign Justin Masterson

ESPN Confirmed: The Cleveland Indians and right handed pitcher Justin Masterson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $9.7 million contract for the upcoming season.

The offseason has been an eventful one for the Indians ringer, as Masterson filed an arbitration figure for $11 million, while the Indians countered with $8.05 million. Masterson was the Indians’ best pitcher last season with a 3.45 ERA in 193 innings.

Masterson led the majors with three complete game shutouts last year. Although he finished the year in the bullpen after an oblique injury, Masterson finished the season strong.

Masterson is eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.

“We’ve got plenty of time to work on anything like that, it’s just working through it, what the value is, what’s reasonable pay, how things work. It’s a different system, especially when you’ve got to be really smart about how you move your money around and you want to make sure you’re making a good investment.” Masterson said. “You’ve got to truly believe in the guy. Not that they don’t truly believe in me, but it’s what you’re working through in that process. It’s easy for us when it’s not our money to throw it around and say, ‘Just do this.’ When it’s your own money, you say, ‘ I think we’re going to think about this a little bit more.’ It doesn’t bother me.”

Masterson turns 29 in March and went 14-10 last year. The pitcher known as “Nasty Masty” and made famous by his sink ball made his first AL All Star team in 2013. He has gone 44-55 with a 4.08 ERA in parts of five seasons with Cleveland.