Indians expected to offer Jason Kipnis a contract extension soon

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Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis will enter his first year of arbitration eligibility after the season. He’ll have the opportunity to go through the arbitration process for three years. After the 2017 season, he would become eligible for free agency.

According to Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer, however, it sounds like the Indians want to avoid all of that and get their star infielder signed to a contract extension soon. Pluto writes that the extension will require more than the $25 million the team awarded outfielder Michael Brantley two weeks ago, and that an extension for Kipnis is likely to be at least five years in length.

Kipnis, 26, was the fifth-most valuable second baseman in baseball last season with 4.5 Wins Above Replacement, according to FanGraphs. He is preparing to enter his third full season in the Majors.

Nick Pivetta to rejoin Phillies’ rotation

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Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Nick Pivetta will rejoin the Phillies’ rotation, starting Tuesday’s series opener at home against the Cardinals. Vince Velasquez will remain in the bullpen.

Pivetta, 26, allowed 17 earned runs on 31 hits and eight walks with 16 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings across his first four starts of the season. The performance resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In six starts there, Pivetta had a much better 3.41 ERA with a 50/20 K/BB ratio in 37 innings of work.

Velasquez, 26, was solid as a starter, posting a 3.99 ERA across six starts. However, he averaged under five innings and 92 pitches per start. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen on Friday against the Brewers but was torched for four runs in two-thirds of an inning on Sunday. Mixed results, to say the least. The Phillies are trying to do what they can with their bullpen, currently missing David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and Vìctor Arano.