Nationals Baseball: Nats sign Kendrick

Monday, January 15, 2018

Nats sign Kendrick

Here's a tweet

It makes too much sense to be anything but pleased.

The Nats needed someone to play 2nd base for a while if Murphy couldn't open the season.  Howie can do that.

The Nats needed a veteran 4th OF.  Howie can do that

The Nats needed a veteran IF bench player. Howie can do that

The Nats didn't want to spend a lot of money.  Howie didn't get that. 3.5 million a year (or I'm going to guess 3 this year, 4 next) is not a lot.

The Nats wanted someone good. Howie is that.

Now obviously Howie can't fill all those holes at the same time, but the hope is a Difo or Goodwin or someone else can step up and take one of those spots. 

Yes he's a little on the older side now.  He'll be 34/35 this year (birthday in July) so 36 when the contract expires. But if he was younger that his long streak of average to slightly above average offense would have gotten him more than the Nats offered. 

There's no point in repeating exactly what we said about him just last July so go read that. If you want it brief : negatives - not patient, not powerful, has had injuries. positives - great contact, good average, good runner, good fielder, not complete zero in patience/power. Arguably good enough to be your 3rd OF, definitely good enough to be an all-around super sub. Especially at that price.

I suppose a pessimist might think "Well if we got Howie for this cheap couldn't we have gotten X Pitcher/Catcher for cheap first?"   Maybe. We don't know how those markets are progressing. We'll have to wait until the Nats are done, the league is done, before we can address that.

For now, nothing but positives for this move in the moment.


DezoPenguin said...

With the exception of the weirdness of Rizzo basically bringing back the entire 2017 team to the extent possible (Kintzler back, Kendrick back, Jackson in a MiLB deal, Adams is basically the most Adam Lind person on the planet except for the actual Adam Lind, Severino replaces Lobaton's "veteran presence" with slightly better hitting; all we need is Albers to finish getting the band back together), I agree that this is an excellent move. Kendrick can play 2B if we need him to for an extended period, he can back up at other spots, he provides a good bat from the other side to mirror Adams, and he's signed for very reasonable money. If he doesn't fall off an aging cliff, he is a very valuable addition.

Money has been spent, and the team is now better. Today is a good day. Hopefully it's not the final move, but today's Nats > yesterday's Nats.

G Cracka X said...

Excellent signing. I'm surprised they were able to get Kendrick back at that price. Does bringing him back suggest that they think Murph won't be ready on Opening Day?

Bote Man said...

Missing from the litany of "getting the band back together" players: Adam Eaton.

Or did he die or sumpin??

Bote Man said...

I mean, getting a player back from extended injury is as good as a trade, right? RIGHT??

Mythra said...

I like it. Howie gives us a contact PH bat off the bench for a late game rally, can spell Murph every few days and is faster and better hitter than Difo/Goodwin. Nats had a good bench last season that stepped up. They have a good bench again.

A strength stays a strength.

sirc said...

I get a strong Jeff Samardzija vibe from Gerrit Cole. I wonder if Houston will regret the trade the way Oakland did.

Anyway, count me among the happy over Kendrick returning. He signed for nearly half of what mlbtr predicted. Prices for veterans has plummeted recently. I believe that the original deal which began this trend was between the Nats and Daniel Murphy.

Dusty's Toothpick said...

I was already under the impression that Murph would be out for a while since the Nats are so cryptic with their injury/surgery updates. Howie should of been starting over that ol’ dog Werth in the playoffs. I truly think that would of been a catalyst to more offensive production down the stretch. But that was last year...sigh....GREAT SIGNING!!!

Off topic but I can’t afford both the all star game and home run derby for my son and I so I’m quietly putting away for that now. Derby or Game? I use to lean towards the game but this past Derby was very fun to watch and since it’s at Nats Park I want to get this right.

Josh Higham said...


I'd go Derby easily, but I don't think I'd have ever preferred the game, so our preferences probably don't line up very well. I haven't been interested in the game in more than a decade.

Harper said...

Bote Man - shut it

sirc - I was all aboard the Cole bandwagon until last year. Nothing about it made you say - back to top of the rotation worthy. Now things can change but for now I think he'll plug away in Houston and then be off in FA somewhere else.

Dusty's TP - It would have been an easy "game" call before the changes in the last few years. Now I don't know. I went to the HR Derby back in... 2004 and I wouldn't pay for it. (It was also wrapped with the celebrity game though). But that's an opinion worth nothing now. Anyone been to a recent HR Derby? Or been to a game at all?

Alan Wiecking said...

I thought I heard somewhere that starting this year you can only get tickets for the All Star game "Experience", which means tickets for everything, so you might have to find them individually on StubHub or wherever. Again, just something I thought I heard during this year's game.

Kendrick signing is great. There aren't many players who field so many positions adequately and can actually hit some.


PotomacFan said...

I bought full season tickets to be able to go to the All-Star game and HRD at "face" value. I also get playoff tickets at face value, so somehow, maybe, the Nats will get past the first round. I'm only planning to go to 5 or 6 regular season games, so the full season tickets are almost surely not a good value, but I'm hoping to almost break-even. I expect the StubHub price for the ASG and HRD to be many hundreds of dollars more than the face value of the tickets. I'll give away tickets to other games or sell on StubHub (or to anyone who follows this blog, just let me know).

If I had to choose one, I'd wait until it is announced who will be participating in the HRD. If Stanton, Judge and Bryce all participate, that would be my priority. While the ASG isn't much of a game, it's a great chance to see future Hall of Famers on the field in one game.

Oh, and I'm very happy about the Nats signing Howie Kendrick.

Ben said...


As a kid, I went to the '85 All-Star Game in Minnesota (G-d, I'm old. . .), where my relatives lived and were able to score tickets. Despite the fact that there were over a dozen HOF-ers playing, the only things I really remember from that game now are:
1) Dave Winfield throwing chest high darts from the warning track in right to the catcher standing on home during warm ups;
2) Rickey Henderson stealing second faster than I'd ever seen anybody run the bases before (or since, until Trea Turner, IMO); and
3) The old Metrodome being the WORST place to watch a game (the lighting felt like you were in somebody's unfinished basement, the best seats were 10 feet above the field, and in the outfield bleachers where we were the rows were at least 40 seats wide, so by the time your hot dogs/nachos/lutefisk reached you they'd been held by half of the Twin Cities).

Oh, and I remembered the score was 6-1, but had to look up to see it was the NL that won it, with Lamar Hoyt getting the decision over Jack Morris.

This isn't to say the Derby will be more memorable, but that the quality of the game itself probably has much more variance from year-to-year and unpredictability beforehand.

Harper said...

3) I got to see a game at the Metrodome before they moved on and yes.

Another thing to think of would be the time. ASG can run longer than HRD so if the kid is younger, HRD might make more sense. I don't know though

Alan Wiecking said...

From the Nat's website:

All-Star Game tickets aren’t available on an a la carte basis. This means if you’re purchasing tickets to the game, you must buy an entire strip, including tickets to the FanFest, all-star Sunday events, all-star Workout Day and Home Run Derby, and the game itself, plus a commemorative program. You cannot unbundle the strip and just select particular events to purchase. You must purchase everything, including the FanFest tickets and program.

I expect you can still buy them a la carte on the secondary markets, with the additional markup involved.

PotomacFan said...

Alan is correct. The All Star game events are sold as one ticket. As noted, it is a strip. Ticket holders will be able to sell individual events on secondary markets. StubHub is MLB's partner this year.

Huzzah! said...

Boswell has just been elected to the National Sports Media Hall of Fame. Thoughts? Deserving? Infuriating?

blovy8 said...

It's hard to believe the guy is 70. I admit to liking his 80s books, regardless of the pretty clear notion I have now that they must be full of numerical misrepresentations. His total baseball stat was junk, but at least he gave that type of thing a shot so that Bill James would be able to get some practice in for his future WAR argument. It's not like anyone's using Win Shares either.

Alan Wiecking said...

He definitely belongs in the Hall. While his statistical analysis can be picked apart, his stories on the people and places are unmatched. It helps to be rooting in the region he writes about, naturally. When they took the Senators away, it took me a few years to start driving up to Memorial to get my baseball fix, but that coincided nicely with the Oriole's Magic of the late 70's and early 80's. Had season tickets back then and saw the last game at Memorial, first game at Camden (Sutcliffe with a 1-0 shutout in 2 hours) and the All Star game. His appearance in "Baseball" was also excellent. I had the pleasure of taking a "Baseball in American Literature" class at UMd back in '86 and Boswell was one of the guest lecturers and was awesome. He has also written some excellent pieces about other sports as well. All of them filled with overblown hyperbole, but that's what makes him fun (and annoying).

Dawud Wallace said...

Really digging the blog. I was looking for a more local spot to get Nats news rather than the stale national coverage.I wanted to see if you could come on our podcast and talk Nats before opening day. Check us out, our 1st episode goes up soon.

Anonymous said...

Um, should we try to pry Luzardo back from the A's?

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