Jason Kipnis open to discussing a contract extension with the Indians

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Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports that second baseman Jason Kipnis is open to discussing a contract extension with the Indians. The two sides will likely begin talking during spring training. Kipnis, however, does not want contract talks to distract him during the regular season, as MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian writes.

Kipnis, who turns 27 years old on April 3, will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season. He can become a free agent after the 2017 season. An extension would likely buy out at least two of the years leading up to the second baseman’s free agency.

Since the beginning of the 2012 season, Kipnis has been the fifth-most valuable second baseman in the game (min. 1,000 plate appearances), according to FanGraphs WAR. He trails Robinson Cano, Ben Zobrist, Dustin Pedroia, and Matt Carpenter while narrowly outranking Aaron Hill.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.