Milwaukee Brewers: A 2013 All-Star is generating interest

BOSTON, MA - JULY 24: Justin Masterson
BOSTON, MA - JULY 24: Justin Masterson /

Macklemore’s Thrift Shop was the top song. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was the top grossing movie. Jason Masterson was an All-Star. All of these happened in 2013. Masterson is a free agent now. Could the Milwaukee Brewers have interest in Masterson as a long reliever or spot starter?

Justin Masterson hasn’t faced a Major League hitter since 2015. In his last season in the Majors, Masterson logged 59 1/3 innings for the Boston Red Sox and posted a 5.61 ERA. He underwent shoulder surgery in 2016, and spent 2017 with the Dodgers….The Oklahoma City Dodgers.

In the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, Masterson did well. He tossed 141 2/3 innings in 26 appearances. 25 of them were starts. He struck out 140 while walking 60. Masterson was only tagged for seven homers.

How would Masterson fit with the Brewers?

The rumors say that Masterson is getting a lot of interest as a non-roster invitee. The Milwaukee Brewers could offer him a similar deal, but there is clearly an opportunity for Masterson in Milwaukee. The bullpen needs arms, and there’s still an opening at the back of the rotation that needs to be filled.

Is Masterson healthy?

Probably? It was reported last fall that Masterson was pain-free for the first time in years. He made it through the 2017 season without missing time. It certainly sounds like he’s fully healthy.

Is he better or worse than Yovani Gallardo?

Remains to be seen. Yovani Gallardo actually received a Major League contract, so he’s likely already in the fold for 2017. His role isn’t 100% certain yet, but he’ll likely start the season with the Milwaukee Brewers. At his peak, Gallardo was the superior pitcher. He probably still is.

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Masterson clearly wants to pitch, is as healthy as he’s going to get, and wants an opportunity. He will turn 33 before Opening Day, but it’s really hard to screw up a non-roster invitee. Either he can still pitch and will force his way onto the roster, or he’ll get cut and go pitch in the Atlantic League. While a Masterson signing isn’t the splash the Milwaukee Brewers want to make, it could pay dividends if it works out.