Trade Candidate: Does Howie Kendrick Make Sense for Blue Jays?


The off season is set to kick into high gear. The Blue Jays have already made some moves to give themselves some “flexibility”. When we hear the word “flexibility” it means that there is a plan of action that these deals would facilitate. To further that feeling of expectation are the repeated comments from Alex Anthopoulos that there will be roster turn over and excitement to be had this winter.

All of this means that fans are expecting big things. So too are those with their “sources”. Ben Nicholson-Smith at gave us this yesterday:

Now, the fact that the Blue Jay shave “checked in” on Howie Kendrick is not really a surprise. It seems like we’ve been hearing it every year for a while. But, this year we are left in a position to wonder just a bit more if some rumors have grains of truth. Not all can be believed (nr should they) but there is always the “what if” factor. The Kendrick rumor has elements of that.

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Aside from Toronto checking in on him seemingly on a regular basis, the Angels also have some decisions to make with their infield. Their current 40 man roster has Kendrick, Erick Aybar, Gordon Beckham and Shawn O’Malley as middle infielders. Beckham’s average took a dive in 2014 and is arbitration eligible. Kendrick’s 2015 $9.5M salary is about double that of Beckham and he is due to be a free agent after the 2015 season.

Aybar is signed through 2016 for $8.5M. O’Malley (signed to a minor league deal last winter) is 26 and struggled at the MLB level as a September call up. But, in AAA, he tore it up hitting .330/.411/.475/.886 in 89 games. As well, the Angels just added some pretty expensive infield depth in Cuban Roberto Baldoquin. Granted, he won’t be ready to plug into the big league roster just yet, but it creates another angle to this. Is all of this enough for the Angels to see Kendrick as tradable?

Kendrick was worth 5.4 WAR last season. His 2014 UZR was 6.7! That would obviously be a tremendous upgrade over what Blue Jays experienced in 2014. Take a look at what he would bring to the table:

Year G R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ 2011 140 86 153 30 6 18 63 14 6 33 119 .285 .338 .464 .802 126 2012 147 57 158 32 3 8 67 14 6 29 115 .287 .325 .400 .725 104 2013 122 55 142 21 4 13 54 6 3 23 89 .297 .335 .439 .775 118 2014 157 85 181 33 5 7 75 14 5 48 110 .293 .347 .397 .744 115 162 Game Avg. 162 80 180 37 4 12 75 14 5 32 114 .292 .332 .424 .756 108

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 11/4/2014.

We don’t need to spend forever examining just how much of an impact Kendrick would have if he were added to the Blue Jays.

The real question is: What would it take? Toronto would be getting a 31 year old Kendrick for one year. He’d certainly test free agency a year from now. So, what would that cost?

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  • How about J.A. Happ? We know he’s been drawing a lot of interest via trade. His salary is a tad lower than Kendrick, so the money issue really shouldn’t be what holds this thing up. But, the Angels would not do a one for one deal for a (at best) 5th starter/ swingman.  Even if that swing man is a left handeder who throws 90 mph. So, AA would have to sweeten the pot. Maybe by adding a player like an Andy Burns, Mitch Nay, Christian Lopes. Or even another pitcher like say Blake McFarland or Casey Lawrence. Giving up any one of these names might make some uncomfortable. But, you gotta do what you gotta do. Although, I have to say throwing in Kyle Drabek or Ricky Romero is an idea. Just saying.

    Of all the rumors that have been circulating (and, there will be more). This is one that could actually make sense. Or, maybe it is just wishful thinking. Considering the following, it just might be:

    But, there’s a chance, right? Right? Anyway, feel free to have your say below.