More Indians: An Indian will win the WBC
It was reported this weekend that the Indians were expected to seriously look into extensions for Brantley and Kipnis this spring. Rosenthal notes that the Tribe began talks with Brantley over the offseason, prior to their signing of Michael Bourn.
Bourn's signing complicates extension talks, as his addition bumps Brantley over from center -- the position he manned regularly last season -- to left field. Brantley's value figures to decrease as a corner outfielder as opposed to a center fielder.
Brantley won't reach free agency until 2017, while Kipnis is under team control through 2018. Both are pre-arbitration-eligible players that are signed to one-year deals for the 2013 season. Brantley becomes arb-eligible next year, while Kipnis will have to wait until 2015.
Kipnis was the Indians' regular second baseman last season, hitting .257/.335/.379 with 40 extra-base hits and 31 stolen bases in 38 attempts. The 25-year-old owns a career batting line of .260/.335/.403 over two seasons in the majors.
Brantley turned in a career-year last season, hitting .288/.348/.402 with 37 doubles, four triples and six home runs. Also 25, Brantley owns a career line of .274/.329/.376 over parts of four seasons in the bigs.