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.