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Kipnis open to talking long-term extension

Kipnis open to talking long-term extension

CLEVELAND -- Jason Kipnis does not want any distractions once Opening Day arrives. If the Indians are going to discuss a contract extension with the All-Star second baseman, he feels Spring Training is the time to approach the subject.

During Tribe Fest on Sunday, Kipnis said he is open to long-term contract talks.

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"Absolutely," Kipnis said. "We haven't talked about it yet [this offseason]. My guess is, if we were going to, it'd probably start in Spring Training, when everybody comes there. They've got their hands full with other stuff to take care of first. There's arbitration cases on other players. It'll come after -- when the time is right."

Cleveland is still engaged in contract talks with arbitration-eligible players Justin Masterson, Michael Brantley, Vinnie Pestano and Josh Tomlin.

Kipnis said extension talks "just didn't work out" last winter.

"We put a deadline on it for the start of the season," Kipnis said. "So that's kind of the reason that it stopped. Both sides were trying to get something done, but we just didn't come to the middle point yet. We just didn't kind of agree on years and numbers yet, but both of us are still trying."

Last season, the 26-year-old Kipnis posted a .284/.366/.452 slash line in 149 games, during which he piled up 17 home runs, 36 doubles, four triples, 30 stolen bases, 84 RBIs and 86 runs for Cleveland. The second baseman will likely open this season as the team's No. 3 hitter.

"I'm looking forward to getting started," Kipnis said. "We know we can win with the group of guys we have in this locker room. We just did it last year, so we're looking to build off it that way."

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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