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Smoke signals

• Indians starter Justin Masterson said on Monday that he hopes to be able to avoid his arbitration hearing, which is scheduled for Thursday. The pitcher noted that his agent had talked to Cleveland on Sunday and Monday to continue negotiations on a one-year deal for 2014. If the case goes to a hearing, a panel must decided between a salary of $11.8 million or $8.05 million.

• Former Indians manager Mike Hargrove was in camp on Monday, along with former Tribe players Kenny Lofton and Carlos Baerga. Francona said he told Hargrove to "get in and get dirty," in terms of offering instruction or helping out during workouts.

"Being a former manager, I think he's very cognizant of not wanting to do too much," Francona said. "I told him he can't do that here. He has carte blanche to move around. There's been so many years of baseball in what he's done, I wanted to make sure he knew that he is very welcome, as much as he wants."

• Indians infielder Jose Ramirez (left thumb surgery in December) has progressed to taking front flips in the batting cage, according to the team. It is estimated that Ramirez will need seven to 10 days before taking batting practice on the field.

• Indians first baseman Bryan LaHair, who had a left wrist debridement procedure in September, has been cleared for all baseball activities with the exception of hitting. LaHair is hitting off a tee in his progression toward batting practice.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.
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