The Cleveland Indians have a solid core of players around which to build their team. As they start to take steps towards keeping that core in Cleveland, second baseman Jason Kipnis will be among their top priorities.
The two sides started talking about a multi-year extension this off-season but nothing really developed. A deal could still get done during the 2014 season, however, as reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:
#Indians have not completed multi-year extension with Kipnis. Still possible deal could be reached during season.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 31, 2014
Kipnis is only 26 years old. In three big league seasons the second baseman has been a 10.9 WAR player (according to Baseball Reference). 2013 was his best season by far, as he was a 5.9 WAR player. His production might come down a little bit in future seasons, but if the Indians are looking at a four or five win player at second base, they are wise to lock him up long-term.
Kipnis is arbitration eligible at season’s end and is under team control through 2018. If things go as planned, it sounds like the Indians will buy out those arbitration years and lock him up beyond that 2018 season. With this news coming the same week that the team signed catcher Yan Gomes to a deal, it would seem that Cleveland plans to be pro-active in keeping their key players in town for years to come.