5. Trade Jason Kipnis
This isn’t an easy decision to make. Jason Kipnis is a productive player and a fan favorite.
But at some point, the Tribe probably needs to see if dangling him on the market can help make their roster better.
How do the Indians go about it? That remains to be seen. Do they try and trade him this offseason, or do they wait until the season. But if Kipnis is playing well, why would you trade him?
Here’s what we know about the current infield situation.
Jose Ramirez appears to be staying at second base, and with Yandy Diaz emerging at third, in addition to the reps top prospect Francisco Mejia is getting at the hot corner during the Arizona Fall League, you’ve got to wonder how Kipnis fits.
With a log jam forming in the infield, the outfield seems like the next logical choice to look, however the Indians have a problem. There’s a possibility they will have an excess of left-handed bats running around the grass at Progressive Field in 2018, assuming Michael Brantley and Jay Bruce return in 2018.
If Brantley can’t play the outfield, then the Indians should seriously consider moving Kipnis to left, however, there should be questions about whether Kipnis can hold up defensively through a full 162.
Bradley Zimmer, another lefty, should have center field locked down barring a major disappointment during Spring Training.
Heck, I don’t want to write this, but the Tribe wouldn’t be doing their due diligence if they didn’t look into what Kipnis could yield them in a return.
Kipnis, 30, was an All-Star in 2016, but battled injuries throughout most of the 2017 season. he hit just .232 (.705 OPS).
He’s a team player who played center field during the Tribe’s short postseason stint, to do whatever he could to help the team.