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Report: Indians talking deals with Brantley, Kipnis

Report: Indians talking deals with Brantley, Kipnis

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians have discussed contract extensions with left fielder Michael Brantley and second baseman Jason Kipnis, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

Brantley and Kipnis, who are two key pieces to Cleveland's young core, are currently in their pre-arbitration years. Brantley will become eligible for arbitration next offseason, while Kipnis will become eligible for arbitration following the 2014 season.

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The Indians are reportedly interested in buying out the arbitration years for both players -- plus a year or two of free agency. That likely means Cleveland is looking at a five-year deal for Brantley and possibly a six-year contract for Kipnis, according to Rosenthal.

Brantley -- acquired from the Brewers in the CC Sabathia trade in 2008 -- enjoyed a breakout season in 2012, hitting .288 with a .348 on-base percentage in 149 games for the Indians. Along the way, he compiled six home runs, 37 doubles, four triples, 12 stolen bases, 60 RBIs and 63 runs scored.

Brantley, 25, spent last season as the Tribe's regular center fielder, but has moved to left this season due to the Indians' acquisition of center fielder Michael Bourn.

The 25-year-old Kipnis is entering his second full season as the Indians' starting second baseman. In 152 games a year ago, the second baseman hit .257 with 14 home runs, 22 doubles and a team-high 76 RBIs. He stole 31 bases and scored 86 runs for the Tribe.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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