Showing posts with label Howie Kendrick. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Howie Kendrick. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Howie Kendrick, Jean Segura, Carlos Quentin, Mark Buehrle, etc.

Howie Kendrick
Shifting the focus from SoxFest and its aftermath, let's take a look at some of the other news and notes from around baseball the past few days.

Kendrick returns to Dodgers on two-year deal; Segura to Diamondbacks

Veteran second baseman Howie Kendrick signed a two-year, $20 million contract to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, a deal that figures to be a bargain for the Dodgers.

Kendrick turned down a qualifying offer that would have paid him $15.8 million for the 2016 season, and apparently could not find another team that was interested in coughing up a draft pick in order to sign him.

This move makes the Dodgers better, because Kendrick is a better solution at second base than a platoon of Chase Utley and Enrique Hernandez. Moreover, it keeps Kendrick away from the NL West rival Arizona Diamondbacks, who have needs in the middle infield and seemed to be a logical destination for Kendrick.

Apparently, the Diamondbacks didn't want to part with the 39th pick in the draft, which they would have surrendered to the Dodgers had they signed Kendrick. Instead, they traded pitcher Chase Anderson, infielder Aaron Hill and minor leaguer Isan Diaz to the Milwaukee Brewers for shortstop Jean Segura and pitcher Tyler Wagner.

Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart said the club is "seeking a little bit more offense" with this trade. OK, let's compare Kendrick and Segura.

2015:
Kendrick: .295/.336/.409, 9 HRs, 54 RBIs, 6 SBs
Segura: .257/.281/.336, 6 HRs, 50 RBIs, 25 SBs

Career:
Kendrick: .293/.336/.409
Segura: .266/.301/.360

If you were "seeking a little bit more offense," which player would you add? Kendrick, right? It's a slam dunk.

So, instead of surrendering the 39th pick in the draft to sign Kendrick and keep him away from the Dodgers, the Diamondbacks surrendered a major league pitcher (Anderson) and a good prospect (Diaz) to trade for Segura, who is clearly a lesser player than Kendrick.

This is a fail for Arizona.

Quentin comes out of retirement, signs with Twins

Former White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin, 33, will attempt a comeback with the Minnesota Twins. He signed a minor league deal Tuesday that would pay him $750,000 if he is added to the 40-man roster.

Quentin enjoyed his best season in 2008 with the White Sox, when he totaled 36 home runs and 100 RBIs. Injuries have plagued his career -- he hasn't played more than 86 games in a season since 2011. He last played in the majors with San Diego in 2014 and announced his retirement after Atlanta released him in April 2015.

Buehrle not signing a contract, not retiring either

Former White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle, currently a free agent, says he's “not planning to sign, but not officially retiring," acccording to reports.

The 37-year-old lefty finished last season with a 3.81 ERA with the Toronto Blue Jays and probably could help a team as a veteran at the back of the rotation.

If some team has an injury to a significant member of its starting staff during spring training, I wouldn't be surprised if that team gives Buehrle a call.

Will anyone sign Thornton?

Continuing with this theme of former White Sox, they say left-handers can pitch forever. That being the case, how come relief pitcher Matt Thornton can't find a job?

Sure, he's 39 years old and not as overpowering as he used to be, but he held left-handed hitters to a .198/.205/.279 slash line and compiled a 2.18 ERA with the Washington Nationals last year.

Hard to believe some team can't use that.

Olivo gets minor league deal with Giants

Former White Sox catcher Miguel Olivo, 37, has signed a minor league deal with San Francisco. Olivo spent 2015 in the Mexican League, exiled after the Dodgers released him in 2014 for biting off a chunk of Alex Guerrero's ear during a dugout brawl at Triple-A Albuquerque.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Four notable free agents remain on the market

Ian Desmond
This offseason, there were 16 players who received qualifying offers from their teams and declined them, opting instead to become free agents. Twelve of them have signed; four remain on the market as of Tuesday afternoon:

1. Dexter Fowler, outfielder: Fowler is coming off a decent season with the Cubs, where he posted a .250/.346/.411 slash with 17 home runs and 20 stolen bases. His on-base percentage was actually down a little bit last year from his career norm of .363, but he's always been a guy who gets on base at a decent clip at the top of a lineup. However, he is horribly miscast as a center fielder -- he's posted a negative defensive WAR in each of the past five seasons. And he lacks the arm strength to play right field. Those defensive warts are likely why he's still on the market, with teams reluctant to surrender a draft pick to sign him.

2. Ian Desmond, shortstop: Desmond picked a bad time to have a horrible year in 2015, .233/.290/.384 with 19 home runs, 62 RBIs and 27 errors. All those figures are worse than his career norms, and despite a weak crop of free-agent shortstops, nobody has been willing to meet his asking price -- especially with the draft pick compensation attached. Desmond, 30, may have to change positions to convince a team to take a chance on him at this point.

3. Howie Kendrick, second base: It's a little bit surprising this guy is still available, especially with second basemen who can hit being hard to come by. Again, the draft pick thing is a major hindrance, but GMs should know what they are getting in Kendrick. His batting average has been between .285 and .297 in each of the past five years. His on-base percentage has been between .325 and .347 in each of the past five years. Not much variance. Kendrick is 32, so he's not going to command a four or five-year contract, but you would think he would be a nice option for a team looking for a second baseman on a two- or three-year deal. This is a consistent player.

4. Yovani Gallardo, pitcher: Gallardo's days of being a top-of-the-rotation pitcher with the Milwaukee Brewers are past, but give him credit for surviving despite a noticeable decline in his stuff. He can't overpower anybody anymore, yet he still managed to go 13-11 with a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts with the Texas Rangers last year -- his first season in the American League. There are a lot of career NLers who have had a much more difficult adjustment to the AL than that. That said, Gallardo's strikeout rate has fallen from 25.9 percent to 15.3 percent. Even though Gallardo will only be 30 on Opening Day, he's got nearly 1,500 big-league innings on his arm, and that seems to be taking a toll.

Other notable players still available:

David Freese, third baseman
Doug Fister, pitcher
Justin Morneau, first baseman
Tyler Clippard, relief pitcher
Tim Lincecum, pitcher
Austin Jackson, outfielder
Steve Pearce, outfielder
Mat Latos, pitcher
Juan Uribe, infielder
Pedro Alvarez, first baseman

Friday, August 22, 2014

White Sox trade Gordon Beckham to Angels

Just hours after we said the White Sox should be eager to move on from Gordon Beckham, the club traded the struggling second baseman to the Los Angeles Angels for a player to be named later.

Beckham will not be a starting player with the AL West-leading Angels, who are set in the infield with Howie Kendrick at second base, Erick Aybar at shortstop and David Freese at third base.

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said Beckham will come off the bench against left-handed pitchers and play multiple positions, according to a report in the Orange County Register.

Beckham leaves Chicago in the worst slump of his six-year career. He's hitting just .158 since July 1, a span of 163 plate appearances. A recent article on southsidesox.com indicated Beckham's .371 July OPS represented the worst month by a White Sox starting player in 46 years. 

We cited the statistics earlier today, so we won't beat a dead horse. It was time for both Beckham and the White Sox to move on. If anything, the Sox erred on the side of having too much patience with Beckham. The former first-round pick was given nearly 2,900 plate appearances with the South Siders over the past six years. If you're not a good hitter after that many at-bats, you're never going to be a good hitter.

“You want to give everybody a fair opportunity and especially a guy you have drafted and developed and especially those who have had success at the big league level,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told ESPN Chicago's Doug Padilla. “You want to give them the chance to fulfill and reach and extend on that potential. With Gordon having close to 2,900 plate appearances in a White Sox uniform, I think we are all very comfortable that we did give him that chance.”

Indeed they did.

Carlos Sanchez has been recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to replace Beckham on the Sox' roster. Sanchez was hitting .293 with seven home runs, 57 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 110 games for the Knights.

I would expect Sanchez to be in the lineup at second base Friday night when the Sox open a three-game set against the New York Yankees.