The Cleveland Indians have agreed a new contract with second baseman Jason Kipnis worth $52.5m over six years, reports CBS Sports.
The lucrative new deal will buy out two free agent years and covers Kipnis' final pre-arbitration year and three arbitration years. If the team decide to opt for the optional seventh year, it will also cover a third free agent year.
As the deal is almost identical to the one that St Louis Cardinals gave their second baseman Matt Carpenter last month, it seems the president was set and helped speed up negotiations.
Kipnis had his breakthrough season in 2013 after a rather quiet rookie year the season previous. Last season saw him hit .284/.366/.452 with 36 doubles, 17 home runs and 30 stolen bases. Those stats earned him a deserved place in the All-Star team.
He also finished in a respectable 11th place in the AL MVP voting.
Since emerging in the major leagues in 2012, Kipnis ranks ninth for hits with 315, eighth for home runs with 31 and fourth in WAR with 9.8. Robinson Cano (16.0), Dustin Pedroia (11.7) and Ben Zobrist (10.5) are the only players currently ahead of him.
The breakdown of his salsary over a potential seven years is as follows:
• 2014: $1 million signing bonus plus $2 million salary (replaces $554,900 salary)
• 2015: $4 million
• 2016: $6 million
• 2017: $9 million
• 2018: $13.5 million
• 2019: $14.5 million
• 2020: $16.5 million club option with $2.5 million buyout