The Cleveland Indians should look into bringing back second baseman Jason Kipnis.
It is not a very popular opinion. In fact, it is entirely unpopular. However, the Cleveland Indians should not close the book on the Jason Kipnis era just yet. The Indians second baseman will be a free agent after the team declined his option for 2020. Kipnis was due to make $16.5 million had his option been exercised by the team.
Let’s face facts. The Indians do not have an in house solution at second base at the current time. Sure, there will be discussions about moving Jose Ramirez from third to second but that only opens up another hole in the infield. Cleveland does not have a third baseman ready to take his place either (Nolan Jones is still at least one year away). Many like to point to Yu Chang, but he is not considered a to prospect and is far from an elite hitter. Actually, he’s far from good. Chang is not the type of player that you move an All-Star caliber third baseman for.
Finding a replacement for Jason Kipnis is not as easy as some make it out to be
Cleveland has a few options at second but they are not the instant solution/upgrade many are looking for. Chang has only played second base 34 times in six years (majors and minors combined). Andrew Velazquez is a utility type player. Christian Arroyo is an option who was acquired from Tampa. Although he is more of a lottery ticket/project than instant starter.
There is not any enticing free agent second baseman available, so that avenue can be dismissed. Even if there was, the Indians are not going to go out and make a splash. It simply is not their style when it comes to free agency. The reality is that the options that exist for the Cleveland Indians to fix their issue at second base for the upcoming season are few and far between. If Cleveland can agree to terms on a one or two-year deal with Kipnis for a fraction of what he was originally due to make, it is hard to argue with that line of thinking.