Report: Indians talking contract extensions with Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis

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After making some big splashes in the free agent market this winter, the Indians are now trying to lock up two of their promising young players.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Indians have discussed contract extensions with outfielder Michael Brantley and second baseman Jason Kipnis. The aim is to buy out each player’s arbitration seasons and multiple years of free agency.

Brantley will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter while Kipnis is coming off his first full season in the majors and won’t qualify for the first time until after 2014. Rosenthal notes that the Indians began negotiations with Brantley before they signed Michael Bourn to a four-year, $48 million contract, so the dynamic may have changed over the past month. He’s being moved over to left field to accommodate Bourn, but there’s little doubt that he offers more bang for his buck as an everyday center fielder.

Yankees activate Giancarlo Stanton

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The New York Yankees have activated Giancarlo Stanton. He’ll be in the lineup in tonight’s game against the Rays.

Stanton has been on the injured list since April 1 due to a left biceps strain and a left shoulder strain sustained in what Aaron Boone called a “funky swing” at the time. He began a rehab assignment in late May, had it halted due to injury, and resumed it recently. He’s been swinging the bat well during his most recent stint, socking four homers in ten games.

That pop will be welcome. The Yankees have weathered Stanton’s injury — and injuries to Aaron Judge and scads of other players — but a team can’t defy gravity forever. At some point you need your established threats back. With Stanton coming back tonight, Judge coming back later this week and with the addition of Edwin Encarnación in that trade with Seattle, the Bombers should continue to hit bombs throughout the summer.