Assembling Howie Kendrick Trade Packages for Top 5 Potential Suitors
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Considering that the Angels don't have much else of value to shop—Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson have full no-trade clauses, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo are cornerstone pieces to build around and Scott Downs has already been traded—it makes sense to at least listen on the 30-year-old Kendrick.
The former All-Star hasn't turned out to be the perennial batting champ contender that some scouts thought he would be as a prospect, but he's a solid defender who brings solid tools across the board. He's posted a .292 career batting average with an average of 12 homers, 66 runs batted in, 31 doubles and 13 stolen bases from 2009 through 2012.
He's hitting .301 this season and is on pace for 17 homers and 67 runs batted in.
Signed through the 2015 season ($9.35 million in 2014, $9.5 million in 2015), interest in Kendrick might not be limited to teams in the thick of the playoff race. He can, however, block trades to 12 teams this season. That list of teams would've been submitted prior to the season and is unknown at this time.
If Chase Utley stays put in Philadelphia—Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that teams are being told he's unavailable as they work towards a contract extension—Kendrick's value could get a boost for teams that could use an upgrade at second base.
Here are five contending teams that could have interest and potential trade packages it would take to land him. All five trade packages include a major league-ready or nearly major league-ready replacement for Kendrick and young pitching.
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The fact that the oft-injured Brian Roberts has played in 27 games and with halfway decent numbers (.688 OPS, 2 HR, SB) is a victory for the O's. But Baltimore is a serious contender in the American League and could use some more pop in its lineup if it's going to sneak back into the playoffs for a second consecutive season.
Adding Kendrick would not only give the O's a more reliable and more productive option down the stretch, it would solidify the second base spot for the next two seasons (2014-2015).
They already have a very good second base prospect, Jonathan Schoop (pictured), who could be in the majors soon. But the 22-year-old has missed most of this season with a back injury, and his Double-A numbers weren't spectacular in 2012 (.710 OPS, 14 HR, 5 SB).
In other words, Schoop is no sure thing. You know what you're getting in Kendrick.
If the O's feel they're a much better team by adding the veteran second baseman, they might be willing to offer Schoop and lefty starter Zach Britton to the Halos.
Orioles get: 2B Howie Kendrick
Angels get: 2B Jonathan Schoop, LHP Zach Britton
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The Rockies may have a losing record at 51-55, but they're also only six games out in the NL West. While it might not be the smartest move to add a two-month rental when your team isn't even good enough to play .500 ball, adding a player who is under control for multiple years could make it worth the risk.
Josh Rutledge's (pictured) sophomore season (.584 OPS) hasn't gone quite as smoothly as his rookie campaign in 2012. DJ LeMahieu has gotten most of time at second base over the past couple of months but his .668 OPS isn't exactly forcing the Rockies to stop looking for a better answer at the position.
Rookie Charlie Culberson (.862 OPS, 14 HR, 13 SB in Triple-A), who just got the call-up today, could also get a look, but he's viewed as more of a utility candidate.
The team's uncertainty at the position could at least have it asking about Kendrick, who could be had if the Rockies were willing to send Rutledge and top pitching prospect Chad Bettis (3.71 ERA, 63 IP, 60 H, 13 BB, 68 K in Double-A), who has been solid after missing the 2012 season with a shoulder injury.
Rockies get: 2B Howie Kendrick
Angels get: 2B/SS Josh Rutledge, RHP Chad Bettis
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Omar Infante (pictured) is having a solid season in Detroit (.787 OPS, 6 HR) but he's out with an ankle injury that will keep him out through at least mid-August after a recent setback. Unless the Tigers have absolutely no worries that the second-place Indians are threats in the division, they could stand pat and continue to go with Ramon Santiago and Hernan Perez until Infante returns.
Or they could acquire Kendrick and move Infante to a familiar utility role.
This would allow the team to rest some veterans or possibly even give the team extra coverage if Jhonny Peralta draws a suspension for his alleged involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. It would also fill the Tigers' future second base void after Infante becomes a free agent after the season.
The Tigers are nearly as weak as the Angels down on the farm, so it's not an easy match.
But if they were to offer the slick-fielding Perez (.300 BA, 24 SB in Double-A) as a candidate to fill Kendrick's spot in the Angels' infield, outfielder Avisail Garcia (.382 BA in 32 Triple-A games) and starting pitcher Jake Thompson (3.26 ERA, 47 IP, 46 H, 14 BB, 51 K in 10 Low-A starts), the Angels could take the opportunity to free up some payroll space while adding some young talent.
Tigers get: 2B Howie Kendrick
Angels get: 2B Hernan Perez, OF Avisail Garcia, RHP Jake Thompson
Kansas City Royals
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If the Royals aren't selling, as Passan tweeted yesterday, there's a good chance they're looking to add talent to their 25-man roster. Their weaknesses have been glaring all season long, with second base and outfield the problem areas.
They also have a good amount of starting pitching depth, which is what they'd likely dip into to acquire another bat. With Danny Duffy (pictured) in Triple-A after returning from Tommy John surgery, he'd likely be the next in line if the Royals were to need a starter. Felipe Paulino is also on the comeback trail from the same surgery.
They're not short in top pitching prospects either. Yordano Ventura and Kyle Zimmer, two potential front-line starters, could each push for a rotation spot by next season.
The point is they can trade their current "sixth starter" Duffy, who was starting to establish himself as a pretty good major league starter before the elbow injury, and still feel secure with the pitching depth they have.
And they'd be all set at second base through 2015 if they were to acquire Kendrick for Duffy, Johnny Giavotella (.805 OPS, 7 HR, 7 SB), who doesn't appear to be in Kansas City's future plans, and right-hander Kyle Smith, who is having a breakout season in High-A (2.85 ERA, 104.1 IP, 93 H, 29 BB, 96 K).
Royals get: 2B Howie Kendrick
Angels get: 2B Johnny Giavotella, RHP Kyle Smith, LHP Danny Duffy
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The A's say they're out of the Jake Peavy sweepstakes and will focus their attention on other areas, including middle infield, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
The fact that they'd be dealing with a division rival in talks regarding Kendrick, to go along with current second baseman Eric Sogard's hot month (.846 OPS), could make this the least likely scenario. But it's worth mentioning since they haven't gotten much out of the position until the last few weeks.
A deal that would include Jemile Weeks (pictured; .769 OPS, 13 SB in Triple-A), who's been stuck in the minors all season but would immediately take over for Kendrick in the Angels' lineup, and pitching prospects Michael Ynoa (3.75 ERA in 19 starts between High-A and Low-A) and Raul Alcantara (2.71 ERA in 20 starts between High-A and Low-A) could be enough to entice the Halos.
They'd be by getting a cheaper major league-ready option at second base and two pitching prospects who would rank near the top of their system.
A's get: 2B Howie Kendrick
Angels get: 2B Jemile Weeks, RHP Raul Alcantara, RHP Michael Ynoa