AL Notes: Kipnis, Sizemore, Mulder

How do teams take players from promise to big league production? Grantland's Jonah Keri takes a look at some different developmental approaches for players approaching MLB readiness, most of them from AL clubs. The Twins, for example, advance players based upon their readiness to fill a need at the MLB level, while the Rays pay close attention to service time in a bid to maximize the value of each player asset. Here's more from the American League:

  • The Indians are still believed to be discussing an extension with second baseman Jason Kipnis, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. With just two years and 69 days of service, Kipnis will not reach arbitration eligibility until next year (though he received a relatively sizeable $554,900 contract from Cleveland for the coming season). As Hoynes notes, there is an interesting comp in the Cardinals' recent six-year, $52MM extension of Matt Carpenter, an older player with less service (and, on the whole, a less impressive overall track record). 
  • Grady Sizemore is an increasingly plausible option not just to break camp with the Red Sox, but to beat out Jackie Bradley Jr. for the center field job, writes Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. He has shown enough for the club (and, perhaps, Sizemore) to dare to dream, even if manager John Farrell is still preaching caution. But the skipper also joined those offering praise for Sizemore's performance thus far in camp. "The fact that Grady's having encouraging signs in spring training is not a bad thing for Jackie Bradley or for anybody," Farrell said. "It means we've got another good player. Grady gives us the potential to build another talented and deep roster." 
  • Though an achilles tear ended Mark Mulder's comeback bid this year with the Angels, the 36-year-old says that does not mean he is giving up entirely, reports MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez"Barring a setback, or me not being able to pitch with my ankle for some reason, I don't see why not," Mulder said. "My arm's still going to be the same next year."


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24 Comments on "AL Notes: Kipnis, Sizemore, Mulder"


LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

Maybe Grady can stay healthy long enough to set back JBJ free agency back a year.

Bronx Bombers
1 year 5 months ago

On a side note, I think it will hurt the Sox not having Ellsbury. The Yankees were probably playing keep away to take him from them. We really didn’t need him especially with Gardner who is almost the same. And it was reported all offseason we were getting Beltran. It seems to me like they overpaid but mainly to take him away from Boston.

1 year 5 months ago

The theory of Ellsbury is better than the actuality. While his two rings and the 2011 MVP runner up season will what he’s remembered for, this is also a player who loves the disabled list and struggled with consistency throughout his Sox career. I’ll remember Ellsbury fondly, but I don’t really miss him.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

I have this feeling they saw something of him in 2011 that they think he could repeat. Especially since their reported offer to Choo was quite a bit lower, and the fact that they already have Gardner.

If JBJ instantly sticks they wouldn’t miss him at all. I have my doubts about that though, because so many prospects don’t work out that you can’t believe he can do it, until he has done it.

Bronx Bombers
1 year 5 months ago

Yeah especially him being a lefty bat they might figure Yankee Stadium should help his power numbers. But the Yanks targeted Choo and Beltran after they already signed Ellsbury plus with Gardner, Wells, Soriano, and Ichiro on the roster. I didn’t see much of a need for him other then the rivalry. The Yankees either overpaid him to keep him away from the Sox or they paid him for his 2011 power numbers (or both of course).

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

But must have enough loft on his hits to take advantage of that. Unless he drastically changes his approach from last year I think it’s only going to be a few hr per year, not enough to justify the contract.

Bronx Bombers
1 year 5 months ago

I agree, i hope the Yankees aren’t making the same mistake the Sox did when they signed Carl Crawford away from the Yankees. This could quickly become an albatross like that and i think Carl was a more solid player at his signing.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

NY is never hamstrung by a contract at least.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

They reportedly had offers out to numerous free agents all at once. Drew, Peralta, Ellsbury, Beltran, McCann, Choo, etc. And pulled some back as players accepted them.

Karkat
1 year 5 months ago

As long as he stays mindful of that bullpen wall, I’m hoping he’ll turn out to be a major find.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

Lets hope he isn’t better than Jacoby.

Ferrariman
1 year 5 months ago

you’ll have to explain to me why Carpenter has a less impressive track record than Kipnis. If you’re implying kipnis might get more than carpenter, i just don’t see it.

kungfucampby
1 year 5 months ago

I hope Grady can stay healthy. I am rooting for him.

"Bobby"
1 year 5 months ago

The Indians do a lot of talk about signing guys.

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

When was the last time Grady was healthy for an entire season? Its one thing to play well in ST in 80 degree sunshine weather, taking care not to play too often and another to do so every day on cold April evenings. Whats he have so far, 12 AB?

If JBJ does not start the season in CF either the Red Sox have little faith in him or they are trying to steal another year of service time, or both. Either way, look for JBJ to start getting disgruntled like Hanley Ramirez did.

East Coast Bias
1 year 5 months ago

That’s not fair. The Sox gave him an opportunity last year and he didn’t capitalize. You’re acting like the Sox never gave him a chance.

Karkat
1 year 5 months ago

By every report I’ve heard, he could really use a little more seasoning still. There are a couple major holes in his offense that could use patching in the minors that are preventing him from living up to his potential. The major leagues don’t feel like the best place for that to happen anyway.

Karkat
1 year 5 months ago

Maybe JBJ should learn how to deal with a high fastball before he gets disgruntled.

Daniel Morairity
1 year 5 months ago

I wonder where mark mulder will go now that he is let go by the angels??

stl_cards16
1 year 5 months ago

Home? He is out for the season.

Red_Line_9
1 year 5 months ago

Indians had better extend Kipnis before he puts two halves in a season together.