The Indians wrapped up another important part of their future Friday morning with the announcement of the signing of second baseman Jason Kipnis to a six-year, $52 million contract extension.
The deal runs through the 2019 season and includes a club option for 2020.
Kipnis and general manager Chris Antonetti will meet the media during a 10:30 a.m. press conference at Progressive Field as part of the Indians' home opening festivities.
Kipnis, who celebrated his 27th birthday Thursday, was selected to his first All-Star Game last season, only his second full year in the major leagues. He hit .284 and led the Indians in hits (160), RBI (84) and steals (30). He became the sixth Indian to reach the 15-home run, 30-steal barrier, a list that also includes Grady Sizemore, Kenny Lofton, Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter and Bobby Bonds.
Last season Kipnis' OPS of .818 ranked third among American League second basemen.
Assistant general manager Mike Chernoff had hinted that the Indians and Kipnis might be close on a deal when the team announced the signing of catcher Yan Gomes Monday during the Tribe’s season-opening road trip to Oakland.
“You know as much as I do,” Kipnis said Monday. “I feel strongly about this organization. I love being here.”
The signing of Kipnis gives the Indians 16 players under team control through the 2016 season. Among them are several key players 27 or under -- Kipnis, left fielder Michael Brantley, third baseman/catcher Carlos Santana, right-handers Danny Salazar, Zach McAllister, Bryan Shaw, Cody Allen and Gomes.
The Indians drafted Kipnis in the second round in 2009 out of Arizona State. He began the conversion from outfield to infield in 2010 and debuted for the Indians at second base during in his 36 games with the Tribe in 2011.