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Mets have had “serious talks” regarding a Jason Kipnis trade with Cleveland

The team was pretty quiet during the winter meetings, but behind the scenes, something big was brewing

Divisional Round - Cleveland Indians v New York Yankees - Game Three Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

SB Nation’s own Chris Cotillo reported on Thursday afternoon that the Mets got together with Cleveland Indians brass during the winter meetings to discuss a trade for Jason Kipnis. Considering that the winter meetings just ended, it’s a little surprising that this is the first we’re hearing of the talks. Usually stuff like this leaks out earlier.

Maybe the Mets are getting better at keeping secrets. Either way, it’s encouraging news to fans who have a veteran second baseman on their holiday wish list. Before signing Anthony Swarzak to a two-year deal, New York missed out on a number of relief options. Then, we heard that Ian Kinsler was headed to the Angels instead of to Queens.

The Mets have been linked to Kipnis before, and a deal would make sense for both sides. The Indians are a contending team, but they play in a medium-sized market and could be looking to cut Kipnis’s salary after he missed 72 games with neck and hamstring injuries last season. And we know how the Mets love acquiring injury-prone players.

Seriously, though, a Mets acquisition makes sense because Kipnis is still only 30 years old with plenty of upside left. Over 2015 and 2016 he was worth nearly 10 WAR while missing just 27 total games. If he’s able to bounce back towards those levels, he would boost the profile of New York’s lineup considerably. Even in his struggle-filled 2017 campaign, Kipnis still hit 12 home runs and stole six bases, an indication that the veteran’s power and athleticism are in tact.

Kipnis has two years and $30.5 million remaining on his contract, so New York could hold onto its top prospects in a trade if it’s willing to take on the whole obligation. Even if that happens, Kipnis would still be a bargain at that cost if he’s able to return to his past All-Star level of play.