Chicago Cubs Rumors: Is Jason Kipnis worth another one-year contract?

Jason Kipnis, Javier Baez Chicago CubsPark. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Kipnis, Javier Baez Chicago CubsPark. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cubs took a gamble and rolled the dice on a hometown kid who was determined to prove he still belongs.

How cool would it be to sign with the team you grew up rooting for? Last season, that dream became a reality when Jason Kipnis inked a one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs. At one point, we all shared a similar dream.

Standing in your backyard, picturing yourself in a walk-off opportunity, and delivering for your favorite team. For Kipnis, his journey was quite different as his path to the big leagues took him through Cleveland.

In 2016, Jason was on the opposite end of history as a member of the Indians. In a 7-2 win over the Cubs at Wrigley, the Northbrook, Illinois-native hit a three-run homer. A moment he will surely cherish for the rest of his life.

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Before joining his childhood team, the 33-year-old lefty sustained a season-ending wrist injury in September 2019. At the time, critics were writing off the infielder, believing his career had veered off track.

If you’re familiar with Theo Epstein, then you know he enjoys rolling the dice on players who were once in Jason’s position. Unsure of what he could do for baseball following an injury or two. While most of them didn’t quite work out, it’s an opportunity presented to them that matters.

Never give up on your dreams, no matter how beaten up you are. At the beginning of the year, Kipnis proved his worth. He hit .455/.500/1.000 with a home run, two RBI, and five hits through 11 at-bats in his first four games as a Cub. However, his production staggered a bit since.

With the club possibly trying to spend as little as possible, would bringing Kipnis back on another one-year deal make sense? Former Cub Tommy La Stella will hit free agency once the postseason wraps but a reunion with the fan-favorite utility man may be out of the question budget-wise.

La Stella, 31, will draw in some solid money for someone his age. In January, La Stella and the Angels avoided arbitration by agreeing on a deal worth $3.25 million for 2020. A more than deserving raise in pay compared to his previous earnings with the Cubs.

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Tommy is a player who has always proved his worth and remained consistent in doing so. The Athletics will likely want to maintain his services, which could bring a new contract paying more than $3.25 million. A number the Cubs may not want to compete with despite his history with the organization.

So, while his overall season numbers weren’t necessarily mind-blowing, it’s worth bringing Kipnis back for a second (full, fingers crossed) year with the Chicago Cubs.