1:20pm: Kendrick’s deal will call for him to earn a $2MM base if he makes the big league roster and incentives can boost the total value to $6MM, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweets.
10:09am: The Braves announced that they have signed right-hander Kyle Kendrick to a minor league deal. The pact includes a non-roster invite to spring training.
Kendrick, 31, is coming off a poor season with the Rockies after signing a one-year, $5.5MM contract last winter. As a fifth starter that doesn’t miss many bats, Kendrick and Coors Field always seemed like a poor fit, but he presumably went with the largest guarantee offered to him last winter.
In 142 1/3 innings with the Rockies, Kendrick limped to a 6.32 ERA. His K/9, BB/9 and ground-ball rates each trended in the wrong direction in his lone season in Denver, and he finished the year with respective marks of 5.1, 2.9 and 38.8 percent in those regards. While Kendrick’s season was easily the worst of his career and likely hampered his 2015-16 market, he did have a track record as a serviceable source of 25 to 30 starts per year in a different hitter-friendly environment: Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park.
From 2010-14, Kendrick worked to a 4.33 ERA with 5.3 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and a ground-ball rate near 46 percent in 835 2/3 innings. He missed some time this past year with inflammation in his right shoulder and has previously spent time on the DL (2013) for the same injury.
Earlier this month, the Pirates were mentioned as a club with interest in Kendrick and that pairing would have made a lot of sense given the club’s reputation for restoring the values of veteran pitchers who have stumbled. Instead, however, Atlanta has picked him up on a low-risk deal.