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RHP Justin Masterson and Cleveland Indians agree at $9,762,500, avoid arbitration

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. - Pitcher Justin Masterson and the Cleveland Indians have agreed to a one-year contract worth $9,762,500 and avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

The agreement Tuesday was $162,500 below midpoint of the $11.8 million he had asked for and the $8.05 million Cleveland had offered when players and teams swapped proposed arbitration salaries last month.

Masterson's request was the highest among players who exchanged figures. A hearing had been scheduled for Thursday.

Masterson, a 28-year-old right-hander, led the Indians in wins last year when he went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA. He can earn additional award bonuses as part of the deal.

Masterson will be eligible for free agency after this season.

Teams have won two of three cases that went to hearings, with the Indians beating pitchers Vinnie Pestano and Josh Tomlin in Cleveland's first hearings since 1991. Pitcher Andrew Cashner defeated San Diego in the only other hearing.

Two players remained scheduled for hearings this week: Cincinnati right-hander Homer Bailey and San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt. Bailey said Monday he was closed to agreement on a multiyear contract.

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