Updated 12:47 AM EST, Sun, Nov 28, 2021

MLB Trade Rumors: Chicago Cubs Could Land SP Cleveland Indians' Justin Masterson in Trade

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The Cleveland Indians are reportedly open to entering trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Masterson, who could be targeted by the Chicago Cubs, according to a report from a league source last week.

Masterson is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, allowing him to sign a lucrative deal elsewhere. The Tribe has been trying to come up with an extension deal with their pitcher, but contract negotiations haven't progressed because of the disparity of the asking price of both parties.

"Sources: Extension talks between Masterson, #Indians have broken off. Free agency at end of season appears likely," FOX Sports MLB insider Ken Rosenthal reported.

To prevent Masterson from walking away without receiving any compensation, the Indians have no other option but to put him on the trading block, where they can command a price for the services of the 29-year-old hurler.

Chicago, under the tutelage of president Theo Epstien, is set to become one of the most dynamic teams in the coming years because of the bevy of young hitters they have both in the major leagues (Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo) and in their farm system (Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Albert Almora).

However, the Cubs have yet to resolve their shallow talent pool in their pitching corps, in which Jeff Samardzija is the only bright spot in the unit. Unfortunately for the Cubs, their chances of keeping Samardzija are unlikely with several big market teams looking to push hard for a mid-season trade.

Several analysts, including Daniel Schmelzer of Rant Sports MLB, said a trade would be a win-win solution for both Cleveland and the Cubs.

The Indians could move Masterson if they fail to secure a solid spot in the race for the MLB playoffs. On the other hand, Chicago might consider giving away some of their assets to the Indians for a chance to land Masterson, who boasts a 53-63 record with a 4.03 ERA and 839 strikeouts.

"Whether through a trade or more likely via free agency, the Cubs have plenty of money to land him. If Epstein and his staff view Masterson as a top of the rotation pitcher like I do, I think there is a strong possibility that he will be in the rotation by the 2015 season," Schmelzer stated.

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