Kipnis, Antonetti discuss second baseman’s contact extension

Kipnis

Chris Antonetti and Jason Kipnis discussed the second baseman’s contract extension with members of the media on Friday morning, an extra bonus for the Opening Day festivities at Progressive Field.

Check out each’s comments:

Chris Antonetti

We’re thrilled we were able to get (this contract done). Talking to Kip, it’s a long story: Since he arrived in the majors in 2011, he’s emerged as one of the best second basemen in baseball. He has a unique combination of power and speed, which has made him one of the best players at his position and in the American League.

Even more remarkable, when you look back and realize he was drafted as an outfielder and was converted to a second baseman, that speaks to Kip and his work ethic and his determination to become an All-Star and an MVP-caliber player.

That work didn’t happen alone, so I wanted to recognize our scouting and player development staffs. Our amateur scouting group got to know Kip better than any other organization. Our player development staff then spent a lot of time with him, and through a lot of hard work, he established himself as a great player.

As we sit here today, I wanted to reflect back on where we are as organization. We have 16 players under club control through the 2016 season. That would not have happened without the incredible support of the Dolan family and our ownership, who have made a significant financial impact to make this happen.

Jason Kipnis

Today’s very special. It’s an amazing feeling to get something done. I’ve wanted to stay here, I’m excited about being here. When you sign guys like Brantley and Gomes, you have core guys coming back, guys you’re going to be with for a long time. It’s the ownership showing us that they believe in us, that we have the guys who can win games now. I’m excited to be a part of the core that’s coming back.

It was a long day on Thursday – we got in about 8AM (from Oakland) and I had to (undergo a physical) – the last two days, the ball was rolling and we were getting things done for it were exciting.

My phone’s been going off since the Indians announced it. It’ll be nice to get back to baseball today. I’m just happy we were able to get it done.

Then to now

When I got drafted here, the organization was in a rut. I wanted to be a part of the transformation of the organization, be a part of a group of players that could get this going in the right direction. Signing back here, I wanted to see us and Brantley and Gomes turn Cleveland around. We want to finish the job.

How important was last year

It made it easier for me, proving that we had the guys in the locker room, having Tito here. We knew we were going in the right direction. The management is backing it up, by signing guys and keeping guys here. That made it a lot easier for me to sign up for the long-term. Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of that?

–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond

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