The Athletics have shown some level of interest in veteran infielder Jason Kipnis, per Martin Gallegos of MLB.com (via Twitter). It’s not yet clear whether a deal is likely and if so whether it’d include a 40-man roster spot.
It has been a quiet offseason thus far for Kipnis, who hit the open market for the first time when the Indians declined a club option. He has drawn interest from the Cubs, but it has otherwise been crickets.
The 32-year-old Kipnis is accustomed to regular playing time, having accrued nearly five thousand plate appearances over a nine-year run with the Cleveland organization. But clear-cut opportunities at his customary second base have been hard to come by this winter, with a bevy of other candidates also available.
It has been some time since Kipnis was a high-grade offensive threat. He’s a .236/.305/.403 hitter over the past three seasons. But Kipnis has always been much more effective against right-handed than left-handed pitching; unsurprisingly, Gallegos suggests the A’s would consider him in a platoon capacity.
UZR likes him in the field, though DRS and Statcast’s Outs Above Average do not. Kipnis has logged brief time in center field, so perhaps a new team could explore moving him around.
The Athletics already added a left-handed utility piece in Tony Kemp, though the team has committed little more than 40-man space to him at this point. It’s possible he and Kipnis could battle in camp for a role. Veteran lefty utilityman Ryan Goins is also on hand. Righty hitters Chad Pinder and Franklin Barreto factor in the potential mix at second base as well.