Howie Kendrick did well for the Los Angeles Dodgers when he was healthy last season. It seems the competition for him isn’t too big, but they’ve already lost one player to the Arizona Diamondbacks this offseason, and aren’t interested in having another one slip through their fingers.
The Dodgers lost Zack Greinke to the Diamondbacks, and even if it did mean a high draft pick, that’s one of the best starting pitchers in baseball that got away from them as they were trying to figure out how to cut their spending. Kendrick isn’t as expensive, making $9.5 million last season, and not looking for a whole lot more on his next deal. However, the Diamondbacks right now seem to be closer to him and are only holding back because it means giving up another draft pick.
Kendrick did well, as we’ve mentioned in the opening line, on his first year in “enemy territory”, switching from the Angels to the Dodgers in 2015, traded there for Andrew Heaney. He played for the Angels in the majors since 2006, making the All-Star game once and even getting some MVP votes in 2014. The second baseman played 117 games for the Dodgers in 2015, batting a .295 with 9 home runs and a .746 OPS. If there’s one thing to be said about Kendrick, it’s that he’s consistent. His batting average has never dipped below .279 and his OPS has never gotten below .725. He’s a good defensive player, just not with a lot of power. If he’d have that, we’d be talking about a lot more money, and a lot more demand for his talent.
Kendrick is closer to 33 than 32, which makes signing him long term a bit of a risk. He’s looking for a deal that’s beyond three years, which is why the hold up with the Dodgers is happening. Is he worth a high draft pick for the Diamondbacks? If their mentality is win right now, then it’s worth making that kind of move for him. Kendrick might not create a lot of headlines, but he’s the type of player every team looking for playoff success needs in the lineup.