Heyman: Yankees Have Asked About Howie Kendrick
By Matt Mirro
Longtime Los Angles Angels’ second baseman, Howie Kendrick has seen his name in trade rumors for a few weeks now. In an attempt to fill other roster holes, the Angels are looking to shed the final $9.85 million dollars of his contract. According to CBS’ Jon Heyman, the New York Yankees and their division rivals, the Toronto Blue Jays, have inquired about Kendrick.
The Yankees, who lost Robinson Cano to the Seattle Mariners last off-season, are in need of a second baseman. They do have internal options in Martin Prado, Rob Refsnyder, and Jose Pirela. However, Prado might be better off as an everyday super utility player and no one knows what to expect from Refsnyder and Pirela as they are both rookies. Therefore, looking at Kendrick makes a whole lot of sense.
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Kendrick is a career .292 hitter with with 78 homers and 501 RBI over the course of his nine year career. At 31-years-old, Kendrick’s consistent track record at the plate and on defense keeps him in the conversation as one of the better second baseman in the game. He’s a pretty durable player as well, averaging 138 games between 2009 and 2014. Kendrick can also play first base and could serve as a backup on days Mark Teixeira is unfit for duty were the Yankees to acquire him.
He’s also a notorious Yankee killer (a career .342/.404/.480 hitter against them.)
The Angels will likely look for young pitching in return for Kendrick and for the first time in a long time the Yankees are in a position to offer just that. Although he pitched very well last year it’d likely be Shane Greene who gets shipped off to the City of Angels in exchange for Kendrick. That may not be ideal but the Yankees do possess the depth to sell off Greene. They’ll likely be weary of trading away Greene, under club control until 2021, for one year of Kendrick so the Yankees extending Kendrick may be the kicker in a deal like this (Look at the R.A. Dickey Mets-Blue Jays trade a few years back). For right now, Heyman feels that Kendrick won’t be switching uniforms. It seems like the Angles are willing to trade Kendrick but are not actively shopping him. If the right deal does present itself it’s in the Yankees’ best interest to pounce on it and make something happen.
From Friday, November 14th at 12:01 PM:
Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register is reporting that the Angels won’t be trading Howie Kendrick, saying that General Manager Jerry DiPoto told him this information himself. Here’s the Tweet from Fletcher:
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) November 14, 2014
While this would normally mean the end of the conversation, Dipoto has played this game before. Last season he “made it clear” (evidently not) that he would not trade slugger Mark Trumbo. (Via The Sporting News):
“We haven’t been out there shopping Trumbo,” Angels GM Jerry Dipoto told the Los Angeles Times. “At the end of the day, our intention is to keep our team together and solve our starting pitching issues as best we can.”
Dipoto would go on to trade Trumbo to the Arizona Diamondbacks that same off-season. So, while he can say that Kendrick is off the table. he’s still open game for anyone willing to offer off the right price. Dealing Kendrick isn’t a priority, but the Angels are obviously willing to listen and the Yankees need to be in on the conversation.