CHICAGO — While it's been a foregone conclusion for weeks now, it appears Jason Kipnis' time with the Cleveland Indians is officially coming to an end.
According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, the Chicago Cubs have signed Kipnis to a minor league contract ahead of the start of Spring Training later this month. The deal will be for $1 million, plus incentives.
Should Kipnis make the Cubs' Opening Day roster, it would mark a homecoming for the native of Northbrook, Illinois. The Glenbrook North High School graduate grew up a fan of the Cubs, who defeated Kipnis' Indians in seven games in the 2016 World Series.
Whether he makes Chicago's roster or not, signing with the Cubs marks the first time that the 32-year-old Kipnis has been a member of an organization other than Cleveland in his Major League career. After being selected by the Indians in the second round of the 2009 MLB Draft, Kipnis served as the team's primary second baseman from 2011-2019, earning two All-Star appearances while hitting for a .261 average (.750 OPS), 123 home runs and 529 RBIs in nine seasons.
But with Kipnis' production having dipped in recent years -- he last made the All-Star Game in 2015 -- it seemed unlikely he'd be re-signing with the only franchise he's ever played for after hitting the free-agent market this offseason. That outcome was seemingly only solidified when the Indians agreed to a one-year contract with former Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez in December.
Speaking to reporters in September after suffering a season-ending wrist fracture, Kipnis reflected on the impending end of his Cleveland career.
"It sucks," Kipnis said. "There's no need to sugarcoat it. It sucks, because it's been that much fun of a trip for me. But I have very few regrets about the last eight years. It's been an absolute joy to play here."