The 32-year-old suffered a broken hamate bone in his right hand that cut his season short and prematurely ended what was ultimately his final campaign with the Tribe.
That question was answered on Tuesday when Kipnis agreed to a one-year minor-league contract with the Chicago Cubs. The two-time All-Star signed with his hometown club, but he made it clear that Cleveland will always have his heart.
Kipnis wrote an emotional farewell to Indians fans and the City of Cleveland on Wednesday afternoon.
"Many of you went from fans, to familiar faces, to even friends. Keep that Rally Together spirit going for this team. You’re holding them to a high standard and that’s the way it should be. I was fortunate enough to play with some of the best teammates, coaching, medical and equipment staff in the game and wouldn’t have had the run I did without them. Many of which are lifelong friends now. I’ll always cherish my time in Cleveland and always tried to show you how much I loved wearing that jersey by the way I played for you! Forever grateful, forever part of the Tribe! Thank you Cleveland. Kip, Dirtbag, #22"
In 2018, Kipnis became the first player in Indians history to reach 1,000 hits, 100 home runs and 100 stolen bases. He hit 123 home runs, which is the most by a second baseman in team history.
He'll battle for a roster spot in Chicago. If he makes the team, he could start at second base until youngster Nico Hoerner is ready to play everyday.