The Cleveland Indians have discussed contract extensions with outfielder Michael Brantley and second baseman Jason Kipnis, in an attempt to lock up the two young players through their arbitration-eligible seasons and beyond.
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported on the Indians' aim in trying to lock up Brantley and Kipnis long-term:
Brantley becomes eligible for arbitration next season, Kipnis the year after. In each case, the Indians would want to buy out the player’s three arbitration years, then multiple years of free agency. That probably would mean a deal of at least five years for Brantley and at least six for Kipnis.
Both Brantley and Kipnis will turn 26 during the 2013 — and both have been relatively productive players for the Indians. Brantley hit .288 with six homers, 60 RBI and a .750 OPS last season. Kipnis, meanwhile, battled .257 with 14 homers and 57 RBI in his first full major-league season.
Rosenthal reported that the Indians began contract discussions with Brantley before signing center fielder Michael Bourn to a four-year, $48 million deal late this offseason. Because Brantley is slated to start in left field, that could affect how much the Indians are willing to pay him.
A potential complication in the Indians' extension talks with Brantley. Story: mlbbuzz.yardbarker.com/blog/mlbbuzz/a…
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 18, 2013