Red Sox's Masterson doesn't regret turning down extension with Indians

Eric Hartline / USA TODAY Sports

Justin Masterson gambled by leaving guaranteed money on the table last season and his health cost him. 

Coming off an All-Star season, the right-hander turned down a reported three-year, $45-million deal from the Cleveland Indians, in anticipation that he'd cash in during free agency. Masterson, however, struggled mightily with the Indians and after he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. In 28 appearances across the two clubs, he posted a 7-9 record and career-high 5.88 ERA, while dealing with inflammation in his knee that landed him on the disabled list for the first time in his career. 

Masterson entered free agency as a wild card and eventually inked a one-year, $9.5-million deal with the Boston Red Sox. Though his decision eventually cost him millions of dollars, he insists that he doesn't regret not signing the extension. 

"Surprisingly enough, as I think about it now, you would think that would come into play, like you'd say, 'Man, I wish I would've taken that,'" Masterson told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. "But honestly, not a single time did it come in. Because, for me, if I didn't do well, I wouldn't feel great about coming into something (with Cleveland). I'd almost feel like, 'Man, I want to earn this.'"

Masterson arrived at the Red Sox spring training facility in Fort Myers, FL weeks before pitchers and catchers report and was relieved with how his body felt following an injury plagued campaign.  

"It was a little bit of peace of mind for me to come out and to see, just to get the feeling and know that it feels good," Masterson said. 

The 29-year-old sat back and watched as James Shields, Max Scherzer and Jon Lester padded their wallets this offseason with a combined $440 million in contracts. While his deal ranked well lower on the totem pole, Masterson is confident that pitching a solid season will take care of the rest. 

"The one thing is, if you're confident in your abilities and that whatever happens to you (on the field) is not totally taking away from who you are, you'll have people trust in you," Masterson said. 

"Maybe you're not going to get the (salary) numbers you hoped, but you can still get decent (contracts) with things that will allow you to get to those numbers that are reasonable. And we're really blessed here in this game when it really comes down to it."

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Red Sox's Masterson doesn't regret turning down extension with Indians
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