In case you missed it because you were paying attention to the biggest presidential election of our time, there was Howie Kendrick news yesterday. Ken Rosenthal dropped the blue bombshell the Dodgers were looking to move Kendrick, possibly to the Angels or Phillies.
According to Rosenthal’s sources, Kendrick has been grumbling about his diminished role with the Dodgers at the close of 2016. Kendrick was certainly versatile for the team this past season. He played first, second and third bases, and left field. Unfortunately, his production at the plate suffered, and his batting stats took a hit,. He finished with a .255 BA, 8 HRs, only 40 RBIs, and a .326 OBP in just under 150 games.
As new Dodgers’ spark plug Andrew Toles‘ star rose, Kendick found himself with less playing time. Adding to his personal frustrations, Kendrick only started three of the Dodgers’ eleven playoff games.
Howie Kendrick is unhappy with his status on the Dodgers, and Jon Heyman with Fanrag Sports is reporting Kendrick would rather be traded to a team where he can play every day. I agree with Howie. Trade the man.
Andrew Toles deserved more playing time over Kendrick in the outfield. I keep waking up in the middle of the night seeing Kendrick misplay an NLCS, Kris Bryant fly ball into an RBI double that started the Dodgers’ slide into a critical playoff loss against the Cubs. Toles is going to be the man to beat for left field in 2017, not Kendrick.
The Dodgers will probably keep Chase Utley for one more year, as they should, which means Kendrick won’t get to play every day at second base, his preferred position. He’s definitely not the guy to replace Adrian Gonzalez or Justin Turner at the corners either.
Kendrick can see the writing on the wall. He’s bound to be a $10 million, final contract year, utility player. He doesn’t want to be that for the Dodgers, and I don’t want him or his diminishing skills to be that for my team.
Ship him down the 5 freeway to Anaheim, or cross-country to the Phillies. Somewhere between those stops there’s got to be a utility player who can deliver less than 10 home runs and less than 50 RBIs for much less than $10 million.