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The Cubs And Justin Masterson

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At one time Justin Masterson was seen as a top free-agent target this offseason.

Jason Miller

Justin Masterson, who spent 2014 with the Indians and Cardinals, was bad for both teams. The Cardinals had hoped he'd get better after dealing a minor leaguer for him in July, but he got worse before being deleted from the St. Louis rotation.

Before the 2014 season, Masterson was one of the pitchers topping the list of free agents once this past season ended, along with Jon Lester, James Shields and others. In 2013, he posted a 3.45 ERA and 1.202 WHIP, made the All-Star team and led the major leagues with three complete-game shutouts. It was a 3.4 bWAR season for the Tribe righthander.

Masterson, who turns 30 in March, had knee problems in 2014 that could have contributed to his horrific year.

There have been multiple published rumors connecting Masterson to the Cubs. I'm linking this one from Derrick Goold at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch because even though he mentions Masterson only in passing, I thought you'd like to see how the Cubs are viewed by a writer covering the team's biggest rival.

Masterson is exactly the type of pitcher Theo Epstein & Jed Hoyer have signed each of the last three years -- Paul Maholm, Scott Feldman and Jason Hammel the others. Each of the latter three was coming off an injury-plagued season after previous big-league success. In the cases of Maholm, Feldman and Hammel, each was traded for a significant prospect return. If Masterson is signed, though, I think it would be with the intent that he'd recover to his 2013 level of performance and be a contributor to a contending team.

Beyond all that, Masterson was drafted by Theo for the Red Sox in 2006, in the second round, and brought to Boston by Theo's management team before he was traded to Cleveland in the deal that sent Victor Martinez to the Red Sox.

I think the Cubs ought to sign Masterson. What about you?