Though news of the New York Mets monitoring the market for Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis earlier in the offseason seemingly never progressed beyond a rumor, the two teams nearly had a deal worked out, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
In fact, representatives from both sides believed a deal was done, according to Heyman, who reports the trade fell through when a top Mets executive nixed it – likely over financials.
The 30-year-old Kipnis is under contract for the next three seasons, and is owed a maximum of $44.8 million through 2020.
During the final stretch of the 2017 season, Kipnis shifted to center field, a position he had never played at the major-league level, in order to fill a role left by the injured Bradley Zimmer. He was potentially set to be the odd man out in Cleveland’s infield moving forward, but the team now expects him to play second base on Opening Day, relegating Giovanny Urshela to the bench.
In an injury-shortened 2017 campaign, Kipnis posted a .705 OPS, only his second season hitting below the league average.
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