Indians sign All-Star 2B Jason Kipnis to six-year extension
The Indians have given Jason Kipnis a late birthday present and their fans a big gift going into the home opener.
The team announced on Friday morning that it has signed the second baseman to a six-year extension with a club option for 2020.
"It’s an amazing feeling to get something done," said Kipnis. "I wanted to stay here. I’m excited about being here."
Kipnis, who turned 27 on Thursday, made the All-Star team for the first time last season. He batted .284 and led the Tribe in runs (86), hits (160), RBI (84) and steals (30). In his second full major-league season, he became just the sixth Indian to eclipse the 15-homer/30-steal mark. He also was the first Cleveland second baseman since 1948 to lead the team in RBI.
When the team announced catcher Yan Gomes’ extension on Monday before the season opener in Oakland, there were indications that Kipnis and the Indians also were closing in on a deal. Assistant general manager Mike Chernoff said that GM Chris Antonetti would discuss Kipnis’ status with the media when the team returned to Cleveland, and Kipnis said that both sides were still talking but a deal had not been completed.
Kipnis was selected by the Indians in the second round (63rd overall) of the 2009 draft. An outfielder in high school and at Arizona State, Kipnis began the transition to the infield in 2010 and made his debut at second base a year later.
With the signing, Kipnis is one of 16 Indians on the current major-league roster under team control thru at least 2016.
"It’s so awesome," Indians 1B/OF Nick Swisher said. "This is not a one-and-done organization anymore. The moves that we’re making are all the right moves."