The Kansas City Royals Get Worse, Sign Jason Kendall

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIDecember 12, 2009

MILWAUKEE - MAY 10: Jason Kendall #18 of the Milwaukee Brewers takes a swing against the Chicago Cubs on May 10, 2009 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Cubs defeated the Brewers 4-2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Who knew that Brian Schneider was such a trend setter.

Thanks to him, mediocre catchers everywhere are getting two-year contracts. Latest example—Jason Kendall.

The Kansas City Royals late this afternoon signed Kendall to a two-year deal to be their starting catcher in 2010. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, but it is expected that Kendall signed a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million.

The Royals are one of those teams I have followed closely for about 20 years, and moves like this drive me nuts. What is the point of signing Kendall?

Kendall has no value whatsoever. He can’t help a team win and all the Royals continue to do is sign these below-average players to contracts and keep spinning their wheels.

Mike Jacobs, Kyle Farnsworth, Jose Guillen, Willie Bloomquist, Yuniesky Betancourt (via trade) and now Kendall have all been brought in by GM Dayton Moore over the last couple of years. The reality is, they should have never been brought in at all.

The Royals need to get better by drafting better and scouting better. They are not going to get better by throwing money around to players who have no value.

Just because you spend money, it’s not going to get the fan base excited. Fans today, and especially Royal fans, are too smart for that. A fan base gets excited when you sign players who they believe can help their team win.

And here is the kicker with Kendall—he is not even better than what the Royals had last year. With this signing, the Royals have actually gotten worse.

I know Miguel Olivo doesn’t walk. Okay, I get that. But in 2009, Olivo had a .781 OPS, hit 23 home runs, threw out 28 percent of the baserunners running against him, and had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 2.2.

Kendall on the other hand in 2009, had a .636 OPS, hit two home runs, threw out just 20 percent of the baserunners running against him, and had a WAR of 1.2.

And one last thing—Olivo is four years younger than Kendall. If the Royals wanted a fringe catcher for 2010, why not just work on re-signing Olivo?

Oh wait, that would make too much sense.

For what it’s worth, Kendall will be entering his 15th season in the major leagues and has played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland A’s, Chicago Cubs, and Milwaukee Brewers.

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