Although Jason Kipnis has impressed for the Cleveland Indians in spring training, how much longer should he actually be part of the team?
For the Cleveland Indians and their fanbase’s sake, the best thing that has been seen so far is the play of Jason Kipnis. That, of course, was no sure thing but hopefully, Kipnis can keep that up.
He looks like he is getting back to the player we are all used to seeing. As of now, Kipnis has hit five home runs in spring training.
Kipnis can certainly help the 2018 Tribe but for how much longer? He is signed through 2019 as the Indians have a team option for 2020 with a $2.5 million buyout.
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The more Kipnis does for Cleveland, the chances then decrease he could be dealt during the season. Next offseason, however, may be another story. There are other options that make sense from an Indians’ perspective too.
One is evaluating how well younger players are doing.
Depending on the players under consideration, Cleveland could let Kipnis play his contract out completely. This option is dependent on his production as it could decline. If his option is refused, re-signing him to a more team friendly deal may work.
If Kipnis is never dealt but needs his position moved maybe he could become the next designated hitter. Whether he only plays for Cleveland or not, what else could be on the table?
Third baseman Jose Ramirez can move back to second in the future. Following that decision, the hot corner could be filled with Yandy Diaz, Nolan Jones, Yu-Cheng Chang (who is currently a shortstop), among others.
The Indians are going to move forward with some of their younger players at third and second, but the quetion is when? Hopefully, whenever that time comes, Cleveland has someone excelling from the get-go at the hot corner.
Although the 2017 season was a disappointment for Kipnis, it may have been just what he needed to help get his career back on track. It would be tempting to move Kipnis if it helped their outfield situation but as long as he does well, I’d keep him.
Yes, there are exceptions but I am not envisioning Cleveland getting an offer they can’t refuse. Next offseason, however, I’d be more inclined to possibly make a move but it all depends on his play this season.