Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Cleveland Indians are said to be shopping right-handed pitcher Justin Masterson this week at the Winter Meetings, and the Yankees have come up as one of the possible suitors, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports.

Nightengale says that any trade involving Masterson would mean having to move Brett Gardner, and the Yankees would have to include a third team into the discussions because the Indians don't need Gardner.

The Yankees have been looking for a fourth starter to fill out the rotation with CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Hiroki Kuroda, with Michael Pineda, David Phelps and Adam Warren competing for the fifth spot in Spring Training.

Masterson, 28, was named to his first career All-Star team this past season, and would be much more than the fourth starter the Yanks are looking for. He struck out 9.1 batters per nine innings in 2013, and his tough sinker would bode well for him in the small homerun ballpark that Yankee Stadium is.

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti indicated yesterday that he'd like to keep Masterson in Cleveland long-term, but at the same time, he is willing to listen to offer on the righty -- the same thing the Yankees have been saying about Gardner, who they would rather keep to team up with Jacoby Ellsbury in the outfield and the lineup, providing some much needed speed.


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