The Angels and Dodgers "held extensive trade discussions" about a possible deal that would've sent Howie Kendrick from Angel Stadium to Chavez Ravine, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports. Negotiations went on right up until the July 31 deadline, a source tells Rosenthal, and Zach Lee would've been part of the package that went back to the Angels in return. It isn't clear which team backed away from the deal.
Kendrick also drew attention from the Blue Jays and Royals before the deadline as the Angels openly shopped a number of pieces on their roster in an attempt to gauge their trade value and obtain young, MLB-ready pitching. (Alberto Callaspo and Scott Downs ended up being the only notable Angels moved in July.) ESPN's Jayson Stark reported on July 30 that the Angels and Dodgers had discussed Kendrick, but there was no indication that a deal was close.
Kendrick has a partial no-trade clause that allows him to block trades to 12 teams, but Rosenthal notes that the Dodgers aren't one of them. Rosenthal says the Halos are likelier to deal Kendrick than they are Erick Aybar since they think it's easier to find a replacement at second base than at shortstop. Indeed, Anaheim may already have an in-house second base option in Grant Green.
The Dodgers' pursuit of Kendrick could be a sign, Rosenthal notes, that the team is looking for second base options besides Robinson Cano. It has been widely speculated that the Dodgers would be one of the very few teams that could meet Cano's salary demands in free agency but we heard earlier today that L.A. might not pursue Cano (or any major free agents) this offseason.
Kendrick, 30, has hit .301/.341/.437 with 11 homers in 451 PA, though hasn't played since August 5 due to a sprained left knee. He is owed $18.85MM over the 2014-15 seasons, the last two years of his current four-year contract. According to Cot's Baseball Contracts, Kendrick's limited no-trade protection drops to just six blocked teams in 2014, so the Halos could have a wider array of trade partners in the new year.
Lee, the 28th overall pick of the 2010 draft, was ranked by MLB.com as the sport's 78th-best prospect prior to the 2013 season. The right-hander has a 3.19 ERA, 8.4 K/9 and 3.9 K/BB ratio in 26 games (23 of them starts) at Double-A this season. Lee's name has popped up in a few trade rumors in recent years, perhaps most notably in a rumored deal for Matt Garza in July 2012.