Apr 2, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (22) hits a single against the Oakland Athletics during the second inning in game one of a double header at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Indians and Jason Kipnis Agree to Six-Year Extension


Deal Will Keep Jason Ionic in Cleveland Through 2019

The recent trend of the Cleveland Indians extending their core of young up and coming players continued on Friday morning. In a surprise announcement, the Indians have agreed to a six-year contract with all-star second baseman Jason Kipnis. The deal will keep Kipnis in Cleveland through the 2019 season and has a club option for 2020.

The topic of extending Jason Kipnis is nothing new. Reports indicated that both the player and the team have been trying to come to terms on an agreement since the spring of 2013. On several occasions,  Kipnis even indicated much, saying that it was all a matter of both sides coming to a mutual understanding in terms of years and dollars. It would appear that has finally happened and fans can now rest easy knowing that Jason Kipnis isn’t going anywhere.

Talk about a great way to celebrate a birthday. Kipnis turned 27 on Thursday. It’s also a great way to celebrate Opening Day. I suspect Jason Kipnis will receive one hell of a standing ovation during pregame introductions today.

Early reports of the contract state that the deal is for six years and somewhere in the neighborhood of $52-million. ESPN’s Buster Olney has the exact amount guaranteed to Kipnis at $52.5-million. Considering how well he has played over his first few seasons, which includes a trip to the all-star game in 2013, this deal may turn into a teal bargain further down the line.

Jordan Bastian, the Indians’ beat writer for Mlb.com broke down the annual salary in a tweet posted earlier tho morning. He receives a $1-million signing bonus plus $2-million for 2014, $4-million in 2015, $6-million in 2016, $9-million in 2017, $13.5-million in 2018, and finally $14.5-million in 2019. The 2020 club option is for 16.5-million and has a $2.5-million buyout. Again, this turns into a great deal considering the Indians just bought out all three of Kipnis’ arbitration years and then his first two free agent years at $15.5-million. Considering what the asking price is for a quality free agent in today’s dollars plus the ever continuing costs of inflation, $15.5 per year annually for two free agents year could become a huge bargain in the end.

This is an extremely team friendly contract for the Indians that should enable them some financial flexibility to make other moves in the years to come. For Jason Kipnis, its provides his with a stable future. He can concentrate on the baseball side and less about the business side of things for the next six to seven years. Kudos to both sides for sitting down and reaching an agreement before reaching a point of no return.

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  • Letterman007

    At least they signed Kipnis, now how about Masterson? I don’t think that will happen and next year the Tribe will be without much pitching in the starting rotation. Look at what the others have done so far? Not much of anything over the long haul, except get hurt! I realize they haven’t had all that much of a chance so we’ll see what happens this year, but I’m not holding out for much!!

    • Jarod Cook

      At least they’ve locked up a lot of there young talent during the players prime years. Dolan’s stating to open up the check book a little and show some commitment to winning. Now if they can find a way to dump A.Cabrera and get some assets in return that would be great. I agree with you I think Masterson is going to hold out till next season, and try to see if he can get a team to sign him in FA.

    • Letterman007

      I think the Dolan’s are done spending any larger amounts of money, they proved that this year!! It’s back to the dumpster diving for the Tribe and without Masterson next year, their pitching becomes below ordinary and really takes a dip!

    • Gary

      Commitment to winning?
      There biggest needs was someone who can drive in runs consistently.
      Did they do that? No. And they won’t. They think they are improved over last season, they are in for a big surprise. They already lost a couple good pitchers and will lose more next year.
      The check book is still locked.

    • http://www.wahoosonfirst.com/ Brian Heise

      The Indians strategy was to bank on the fact that everyone is going to improve from 2013 to 2014. That’s not crazy considering that most of this team is just now entering their athletic primes. They’re doing just fine. They haven;t shot themselves in the foot financially either. All of these extensions have been team friendly and they didn’t lock up someone who’s over 30 for 10 years like some other team in our division. And RBI is not an important stat. I’d rather have a well rounded team with a bunch of guys that can produce decent OBP and create opportunities than wasting money on a guy to produce for a stat that relies heavily on those batting ahead of him. Money and winning do not go hand in hand. It helps, but it’s not a guarantee in baseball.

    • Jarod Cook

      I agree with all your points.

    • Gary

      Their is no guarantee on this thinking. Not sound strategy.
      They are doing just fine? The season just started. And RBI is not a important stat? ho are you kidding?

    • http://www.wahoosonfirst.com/ Brian Heise

      RBI as a statistic is not important and rather antiquated. It relies heavily on players hitting ahead of you. Two players could both hit 40 home runs, but one could have 120 RBI and the other 75 because one had guys with better on base skills ahead of him. It’s more of a reflection that you had guys on base ahead of you. Having guys with high OBP should be a bigger priority. OBP creates opportunities. You get more guys on base more often and the runs will come. The point I will concede, though, is their lack of a legitimate power bat. There isn’t that one guy in the lineup that an opposing manager has to worry about going deep in any at bat at any time. That they could use.

      You also say that relying on younger players improving is no guarantee of anything. Neither is spending 200 million dollars. Look out how well that’s worked for the Angels. Honestly the best practice should be mixing the to ideologies. Growing your own talent and supplementing it with the right FA acquisitions.

    • Gary

      There is never any guarantee. You can’t count on guarantees.
      You have to live for now, not in the future. And I never agreed to spending 200 million on anyone. But, to win now, you have to spend. And do it wisely.

    • Jarod Cook

      Did you not see there stats from last year? This is where they ranked in the league overall last year #6 RBI’s, #5 runs scored, #6 BB’s, #6 SB’s, #13 Batting average, #7 OBP. You don’t need one guy with a big bat to be able to produce runs, if everyone chips in and does there part. I agree that the pitching staff has a bleak outlook on the horizon, especial if they can’t get Masterson locked up.

    • Gary

      I saw a team get shut out at home in their shot to advance in the Playoffs.
      Their run total was inflated because of the games where they scored 10 or 12 runs, then couldn’t get 1 or 2 their next game. It’s called consistency. Their pitching bailed them out of many games last season. How many teams advanced in the Playoffs because of 1 or 2 “big” bats in their lineup?
      Stats mean nothing if the team isn’t consitent.