Must-Click Link: Jason Kipnis talks about . . . everything

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Vince Grzegorek of Cleveland Scene has a great, long interview with Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis that you should really, really read.

It’s not like most player interviews in that it obviously did not take place in the space of ten minutes in front of Kipnis’ locker, with a small handful of quotes woven into a larger story. The two were away from the park, speaking over a long period of time about a great many things. As a result, Kipnis comes off far, far more human and far more interesting here than players usually do. This is a no-cliche zone that gives us actual insight into the clubhouse dynamic and players’ feelings and attitudes.

He talks some about the World Series and how he, as a Chicago native, had a really hard time dealing with being back home in Chicago after losing to the Cubs. He talks about Progressive Field being so empty once last year that he could hear the radio play-by-play man give away his big leadoff to the pitcher while he was on first. He talks about how players in the clubhouse talk about politics. He talks about how Trevor Bauer is weird. He talks about how he was so drugged up with (perfectly legal) painkillers during the World Series that he couldn’t tell if a ball hit him in the ribs.

In one of my favorite bits he talks about clubhouse leadership and the dynamic between the young players and the older players. Kipnis is just 30, but on the Indians that makes him an elder statesman. The younger ones are making him question things:

“We come from different eras,” Kipnis says. “I had older guys telling me to carry their bags, and you didn’t say anything, you just did it. And this Millennial age, they’re so good that everyone is like, ‘Don’t tell them to carry your bags.’ It’s tough, they ask why all the time. You’ll say, ‘Don’t sit on that couch,’ and they’ll ask why. And you’re like, ‘I don’t know. I wasn’t allowed to.’ And they’re like, ‘That’s stupid,’ and they sit on the couch and you’re like, ‘Huh.’

It’s a great read for a slow baseball news day. Highest recommendation.

 

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster $280 million, 11-year contract Wednesday night, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.