New details on the payout have been reported today by Jon Heyman (Twitter links). Kendrick will receive $10MM annually in each year of the contract, half of which will be deferred. But Heyman suggests that the deferrals won’t significantly reduce the contract’s value.
The 32-year-old Kendrick will also cost the Dodgers the opportunity to add another draft pick. He previously declined a $15.8MM qualifying offer, which obviously did not pay off in the end. But it’s hard to fault Kendrick and his reps for that decision, as he seemed to be in line for a much bigger payday; MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes, for instance, predicted that Kendrick could land $50MM over four years.. (And it isn’t as if the downside scenario is all that bad.)
Bringing back Kendrick not only plugs in a talented veteran, but effectively adds to the Dodgers’ already impressive depth. Going back to 2010, Kendrick owns an excellent.289/.332/.418 slash. His steady contributions at the plate have been accompanied by good-enough work in the field and on the bases, making him an above-average regular.
While Kendrick says he’s “thankful” to be returning to L.A., he also tells Bob Nightengale of USA Today that he was shocked at how his market played out. Interest was minimal despite his long track record of sturdy production, said Kendrick, with the QO-driven draft compensation seemingly proving a significant impediment.
“I figured there would be quite a few suitors for me, and nobody was really calling,” said Kendrick. “Here it is, getting close to spring training, and you keep hearing the same thing over and over. Nobody wanted to give up that draft pick. It was a shocker.’’
Indeed, while market peculiarities probably also played a role — including relatively low demand and several trade candidates — it is hard to deny the impact of the qualifying offer. Ben Zobrist was heavily pursued and earned a $56MM guarantee, while a lesser (albeit shortstop-capable) player in Asdrubal Cabrera earned nearly as much as Kendrick. While fellow QO recipient Daniel Murphy fared better, his own $37.5MM deal also came in shy of expectations.