Just when I thought you'd be moving on, I find out you'll be playing in LA for another couple of years.
And you know what?
I'm more than happy about that.
It is being reported widely, initially via a tweet by Ken Rosenthal, that second baseman Howie Kendrick will be sticking around. He has apparently signed a two-year contract, pending a physical. Furthermore, it's a simple deal with no opt-outs or options attached, and it's team friendly on the dollars-side. Per Jon Heyman on twitter, it'll be $10 million a season:
That's not too shabby; especially when considering that he turned down a one-year $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Dodgers at the end of the season. Unfortunately for Howie, it appears the prospect of losing a draft pick to the Dodgers hampered his pursuit for a long-term deal from another team. On a side note, Kendrick suffered a strained hamstring in late August that forced him onto the DL until mid-September, and it supposedly bothered him the remainder of the season.Kendrick gets $20M, 2-yr deal #dodgers— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 29, 2016
Last year Kendrick had a solid first year with the ballclub. He slashed .295/.336/.409/.746, with 9 home runs, 54 RBI's, 64 runs scored in 495 plate appearances. Howie also provided some good at-bats during the NLDS against the Mets. He had six hits in 22 at-bats; including a home run. He knocked in four runners and scored four times.
This move gives the Dodgers another good problem. They now have a surplus of second baseman on the roster. Kendrick will play the position most often with Utley and Hernandez spelling him from time to time. We also have Guerrero, should the Dodgers get desperate (at this point, I'd be surprised if he remains with the team).
In celebration of his return I made the above fantasy card for him. I used a photograph taken by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015 and the 1972 Topps Baseball card design.
Below are his career stats, via Baseball-Reference:
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