Justin Masterson is signed, sealed and delivered for the 2014 season and he couldn't be happier about it. "The biggest relief is that none of us had to fly to Florida," said the right hander about not having to leave camp for an arbitration hearing. "I don't think Chris (Antonetti) or Mike (Chernoff) wanted to and I didn't want to. Being able to make a little sacrifice on both ends and come to a deal, it's perfect. Chernoff is the Indians Assistant GM, he handled most of the negotiations with their arbitration cases.
Masterson feels the two sides could still come to an agreement on a long term deal. "Oh yeah, you're always talking. We'll continue to talk and see what we can do until the season begins. If not by then, we'll play the season and see what happens." The Indians would prefer to not talk contract during the year.
When he was the manager, Mike Hargrove could not miss a minute of spring training. In his role as a special assistant, he can come and go as he wants. "It's Groundhog Day and I get to miss a lot of that," said Hargrove. It's good, I get to come in and there's no pressure me. I get to come in and take a look at the players and see who looks good to me and see who needs some work early, make my assessments, voice my opinion, then I get to book it."
Hargrove is still a Cleveland native, but also has a home in Tucson, about two hours south of Goodyear. He'll be back in March to continue working with players. One of his projects this spring is helping Ryan Raburn learn to play first base. "He's athletic, he won't have any problems."
The former Indians skipper managed under John Hart and Dick Jacobs, but he enjoys the Dolan-Shapiro-Antonetti management team as well. "These are good people to work for. They give you direction then turn you loose and let you do your job. They're not afraid to hear the truth and a lot of people in baseball are."