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.