There was obviously a great deal of buzz heading into the Winter Meetings, as the thin free agent market had the potential to crack open this week’s event in Orlando to reveal a plethora of trades, with big names moving all over the country. That didn’t happen, for the most part. Some of the most popular names heading into the meetings, didn’t appear to get anywhere near moving.
One of those names was Howie Kendrick. The Los Angeles Angels did complete what was perhaps the largest deal of the weekend in dealing away Mark Trumbo in order to acquire rotation depth, in what was a very savvy move, but Kendrick did not meet the same fate that Trumbo did in ultimately being moved. The possibility remains, but it doesn’t look like as much of a sure thing as it did at one point this winter.
Despite the fact that injuries were an issue for him in 2013, Kendrick turned in a fine performance over the course of the season. He hit .297 and got on base at a .335 clip, while his 116 wRC+ was the second highest mark of his career. He provided some additional pop as well, and added a few swipes, though less than his career average would indicate, as he only stole six. His defense wasn’t as strong as it typically is, as his defensive WAR was just 3.9.
Nonetheless, it isn’t difficult to see why Kendrick presents an attractive option for teams looking for help at second base. He’s a well-rounded player, both at the plate and on the field, and his contract runs through 2015 at a pretty reasonable price. Which is why the Angels continue to ask for so much for him.
It also means that the Angels aren’t necessarily inclined to move him. They have Grant Green who they’d like to work into the plan on the infield, and it’s widely assumed he’d take the place of Kendrick at second base. In the event that that doesn’t happen, Green would likely bounce around on the infield, which wouldn’t exactly be the worst scenario in the world for the Halos.
Just because Kendrick appears safe for now, though, doesn’t mean that he’ll be in an Angels uniform next spring. Teams like the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers, the latter of which almost worked out a deal for him at the deadline, are still lurking. A deal may very well take place at some point, but for now, Howie Kendrick looks like he’s safe in Anaheim.