Indians trade Masterson to Cardinals for OF prospect

With his contract status up in the air, the Indians have reportedly dealt away starter Justin Masterson.

David Richard/David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

CLEVELAND — When both sides could not agree to a deal before the start of the season, many figured that Justin Masterson could be traded before the deadline. With Thursday’s 4 p.m. deadline approaching and Masterson in the midst of a disappointing season, the Indians dealt him to St. Louis on Wednesday for outfielder James Ramsey.

"I was surprised it took place but understand," Masterson said on Wednesday. "Sad to leave the fellas but excited to get to St. Louis and looking forward to what they have got going."

Masterson went to the All-Star Game in 2012 and ’13, and many were hoping the Indians could re-sign him during spring training. The two sides, though, were unable to come to a deal. For the Tribe, that might have ended up being a good thing as the right-hander has gone 4-6 with a 5.51 ERA. In his last four starts before going on the DL, he failed to get to the fourth inning.

Said Indians general manager Chris Antonetti of Masterson: "The year has not unfolded the way any of us anticipated for Justin. It’s been a little bit of a struggle to date, but it gives him an opportunity for a fresh start in the National League and it’s an opportunity to get somebody who we think will help us moving forward. So, again, not an easy decision, but one that makes sense for us."

Ramsey, 24, was a first-round pick by the Cardinals in the 2012 draft. He has spent the entire season in Double-A Springfield where he has hit .300 with 13 home runs and 36 RBI in 67 games. He was the Cardinals representative in the All-Star Futures Game two weeks ago in Minnesota.

Masterson said he will report to the Cardinals tomorrow and said he thought he would be starting one game during the weekend series against Milwaukee. He was supposed to start for the Indians on Friday against Texas, but Danny Salazar will be moved up a day while T.J. House will be recalled from Columbus and start on Saturday.

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