Howie Kendrick Returns To Washington

According to various media outlets, the Washington Nationals have signed Howie Kendrick to a 2-year pact worth $7 million guaranteed, along with an additional $2.25 million in incentives.  Washington acquired Kendrick last July in an inter-division trade with Philadelphia for prospect McKenzie Mills and international bonus money.

The 34-year-old Kendrick battled injuries much of last season, playing only 91 games for Philadelphia and Washington while hitting .315/.368/.475 with 9 home runs.  In particular Kendrick was invaluable for the Nationals, batting .293/.343/.494 and played four different defensive positions.  For his 12-year career, Kendrick owns a .291/.334/.421 batting line with 104 home runs and 123 stolen bases.  He has impressive barrel skills and a compact right-handed swing, allowing him to be an easy plus hitter.  Additionally, Kendrick has added some defensive versatility in his later years, seeing time at first, second and third base plus both corner outfield spots.  He is not a great defender, but his speed, athleticism and reasonable throwing arm allow him to be passable at each position.

Kendrick should provide valuable depth early this season at second base while Daniel Murphy recovers from offseason knee surgery, and act as a vital pinch-hitter off the bench.  Not to mention Kendrick will serve as a starting-quality backup behind Adam Eaton, Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman, each of whom have had injury issues in the past.

Although the Hot Stove feels rather frigid this winter, the Nationals have done a nice job securing three veterans (Kendrick, Matt Adams & Brandon Kintzler) to fill voids on the roster at reasonable prices. Overall there is very little to quibble with this signing, although Kendrick does have some risks involved in his profile.  He will turn 35 this season and just completed his best offensive season in six years, leading to the obvious conclusion some regression is coming this season offensively.  However, Kendrick is a born hitter with natural athleticism, giving plenty of hope he should continue to be productive the next two years.  And considering Washington needed additional depth and made only a $7 million total guarantee, this is a terrific signing for the Nationals to secure Kendrick through 2019.

NatsGM Overall Grade ->             A- / B+

6 thoughts on “Howie Kendrick Returns To Washington

  1. Kendrick was a no brainer in the vacuum wake of Werth exit.
    Does this mean Rayburn rehabs for Knorr @ Cuse with the kids off 40 man , Collier and Cuban Hernandez ?

  2. Howie is a steal! Let me say I disagree heartily on the regression point. Kendrick has had one, count ’em ONE, season where he hasn’t been his career average self. Last year was the continuation of that all the while playing sparingly and in both outfield and second. Personally I think if we had sat Werth and played Howie in the playoffs we would have won the first round. The more .300 hitters we had put in the lineup the more likely one of them would have been hot, instead we put a player who had been truly regressing in the starting lineup instead. Can’t forgive Dusty for that one, it was a no brainer and he no brained it.

  3. Ryan. Are you free of the flu ?
    Your opinions on a blog piece worth the effort on the 2018 farm coaching staffs ?
    Gardner taking on special instruction. Hats
    Along with Pete Vuckovich .
    Did Mickalak pay the price for tutoring a lousy Harrisburg staff not to mention messing up Gioloto mechanics ?
    Mario Lisson , Larry Pardo ( game show host name ) and Freddy Guzman @ GCL
    Thoughts ?

  4. Yes Michael Tejeda is a rising star guru
    With his Arizona Mesa experience tutoring
    The kids burning @ the AA level.
    Great story by Mark Z mentioning The auburn teammates and others tossing to Nats big boys get ready for Cubs.
    Braymer and Gabe K big ops for 2018!!

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