Smoke signals

Smoke signals

• By signing a one-year, $9.8 million contract with the Indians on Tuesday, starter Justin Masterson avoided the arbitration hearing scheduled for Thursday in St. Petersburg. Terry Francona had a good feeling that Masterson would not need to make the trip to Florida.

"I didnt think they were ever going," Francona said. "I'm glad they did [get it done]."

• In the first week of camp, the Indians have not run through any drills to simulate the potential ban on home-plate collisions. Francona said he expects to have more information on the possible rule change within the next few days. Once Major League Baseball makes the decision, Cleveland will train accordingly.

"We haven't done anything," Francona said. "It's Spring Training. We want our guys to play the game correctly -- always -- but we have six weeks to get things ironed out. We'll do that. We don't even know what [the decision] is. We need to wait until we see what it says."

• Indians center fielder Michael Bourn, who underwent surgery on his left hamstring shortly after last season ended, is unlimited in terms of activity in Spring Training. Even so, Francona indicated that he might take a cautious approach to Bourn's playing time in the early part of the Cactus League schedule.

• Indians closer Axford, along with setup men Allen and Shaw, are locks to make the bullpen, barring something unexpected. Francona said not to be surprised if those three pitchers are limited to roughly 10-12 innings apiece in Cactus League play as they prepare for the season.

• Francona noted that Cleveland does not currently have any "B" games on its schedule this spring, though that could change. During first live batting practice sessions, in which Tribe hitters will stand in against the pitchers, it is up to the batter whether to swing or track pitches.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.