Looking to cash in on his foreseeable future following his first All-Star Game appearance, Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis is currently in negotiations for an extension with the team, according to reports coming out of Cleveland late Tuesday night.
While he may give up a year of free agent eligibility, signing a contract now -- with his stock rapidly rising and his projections looking even better -- will likely benefit both sides for the meat of the deal. The second baseman, who has burst on the scene with four or more wins above replacement in his first two seasons, is looking to increase his salary from slightly above the league minimum to at least ten times that.
And for the team, such a deal would allow them to hedge their bets. While they may end up overpaying him if he falls off the face of the earth, he'll still be paid less than he may have made initially in arbitration. And if he becomes the second coming of Joe Morgan, the team will have saved a considerable amount of money in arbitration and in his first year on the open market.
Things in general have been going well for the Indians as they try to build off their wild card round appearance from last season, with Kipnis following in the footsteps of pitcher Justin Masterson and outfielder Michael Brantley in trying to make a deal that's beneficial to both themselves and the team. It's hard to say exactly what Kipnis's contract will be without a year of arbitration to base it off of, but the All-Star second baseman with the potential to hit 20 homers come along very rarely and he will likely be paid accordingly.
And while he was coy, Indians general manager Chris Antonetti made it clear to reporters that he appreciates the work that the 2009 second round pick does for the team and is interested in retaining his services,"I can tell you how much we obviously value and appreciate Kip. We're always open to guys being here longer than shorter."
Of course, there's isn't really any need for urgency from the Indians, who have control of him at least through 2017, with 2014 his last pre-arbitration year. Along with Kipnis making clear he doesn't want to negotiate during the season, it's entirely possible this is something that will be tabled until after October. But it seems sooner or later, the two sides will come together on a deal that will make both parties very happy.