Adam Kennedy Rumors

Nationals Decline 2011 Option For Adam Kennedy

The Nationals declined the 2011 option for Adam Kennedy, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson (on Twitter). Washington held a $2MM option for the infielder's services with a $500K buyout.

Kennedy, 34, batted .249/.327/.327 in 389 plate appearances for Washington this year. He joins a free agent market filled with some solid regulars and others who will have to battle for playing time. Kennedy is not a ranked free agent, so the Nats have no shot at draft pick compensation. 


Nats “Unlikely” To Exercise Kennedy’s Option

After missing out on Orlando Hudson to the Twins last winter, the Nationals turned their focus to Adam Kennedy, signing him to an affordable $1.25MM deal. Washington holds a $2MM option for 2011 with a $500K buyout, but MLB.com's Bill Ladson writes that it's "unlikely" Kennedy returns to the Nats in 2011. He says he'll talk with GM Mike Rizzo about his future soon.

Kennedy's offensive success in 2009 (.289/.348/.410) hasn't carried over to the 2010 season (.252/.321/.335), but his defense has returned to form and matches up more closely with his career UZR/150 mark of 7.9 at second base. In total, he's still been worth almost a full win (0.9 WAR) in limited playing time.

The combination of Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa, who has impressed in his debut this season, has likely spelled the end of Kennedy's time in D.C., however (speculation on my part) at $2MM he could be retained if he's willing to accept a bench role. He's seen time at second, third, and first base over the past two seasons, and still runs fairly well. The Nationals traded one utility infielder, Cristian Guzman, to the Rangers last month, so there could be an opening to fill that role.

If he does enter free agency, Kennedy will join a second base class that's once again headlined by Hudson, but doesn't feature any elite names. He'd likely be looking at a contract similar to the one he signed in Washington.


Kennedy, Guzman Drawing Interest

The Nationals are drawing interest in Adam Kennedy and Cristian Guzman, but are not progressing towards a deal for either infielder, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The Yankees, Angels, Rockies, Red Sox and Phillies are among the contenders who could look to acquire infield help, though none of those teams have necessarily called the Nationals.

Kennedy, 34, makes just $1.25MM this year ($2MM option or $500K buyout for 2011) so virtually any contender could afford his salary. His .240/.316/.327 line won't dazzle suitors, but he has postseason experience from his days in Anaheim and enough versatility to play first, second and third.

Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues says the Yankees shouldn't offer much for Kennedy, though he would fit the Yankees' needs better than Jeff Keppinger or Ty Wigginton.

Guzman earns $8MM this year, before hitting free agency after the season. The 32-year-old has a .299/.340/.377 line in 2010 and has spent time at second, short and in right field this year. That presumably appeals to rival teams, but Guzman can veto any trade because he has ten and five rights.



Rosenthal On Padres, Uggla, Blue Jays, Nats

Let's dive into the latest edition of Full Count from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports..

  • The Padres are seeking a durable starting pitcher as they approach the deadline.  The Padres know that they need a bat but their offense is so weak that they fear a lack of quality starting pitching might derail them faster than a lack of hitting.  Durable starters are hard to come by on the trade market, but the Diamondbacks' Edwin Jackson could be a fit.
  • The Marlins changed skippers thinking that they were a better team than they've shown, but that hasn't been the case thus far.  Unless they rally, the club will end up as sellers.  Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu, Cody Ross, and Ricky Nolasco all hold value.  Nolasco's name hasn't come up much, but he could be one of the better starting pitchers on the market.  Uggla and his big bat are still sought after, even though his salary could rise to about $10MM in arbitration next season.
  • Toronto's Shaun Marcum could still be a trade chip, even after going on the disabled list with inflammation of the right elbow.  The club expects him to be back before the All-Star break and if so, he should be one of the better starters available.  The Jays could be active sellers as they have several more attractive pieces.  Relievers Scott Downs and Jason Frasor are both potential free agents.  Shortstop Alex Gonzalez and outfielder Jose Bautista could also get some bites.
  • Nats GM Mike Rizzo told Rosenthal that the club is getting interest in five or six players in trade discussion. While Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham are getting all the buzz, Cristian Guzman and Adam Kennedy could be attractive to teams in need of infield help.  Matt Capps could be a trade chip as well now that he has recovered from his slump.  They control the closer through next season, though they may look to cash in on his value while it is peaking.

Rosenthal On Phillies’ Infield Options

7:30pm: According to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, the Phillies haven't talked to the Nationals about Kennedy.

1:31pm: The Phillies learned today that Chase Utley will be out for several weeks due to thumb surgery, and Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com chimes in with some possible replacement options. He notes that the replacement doesn't necessary have to be a second baseman (Twitter link), because the team can use Placido Polanco at that position once he's healthy. That opens up the possibility of a trade for a third baseman.

Rosenthal says that former Phillie Pedro Feliz is an unlikely target, citing a scout who says his bat speed is "gone." Feliz has hit just .229/.255/.317 in 255 plate appearances this year, and his trademark defense has declined back to a -4.3 UZR this season. The Fox Sports scribe throws the names of Miguel Tejada, Ty Wigginton, Jhonny Peralta, Adam Kennedy, and Jose Lopez into the mix (Twitter links). The Mariners are actively trying to move Lopez, according to Rosenthal. 

For the now, Philadelphia will try to tread water with the combination of Wilson Valdez and Greg Dobbs at second and third, respectively. They've combined to hit just .222/.252/.338 in 222 plate appearances this season, and Jack Moore at FanGraphs chronicled just how big of a downgrade this is for the Phillies.


Rockies In No Rush To Acquire Infielders

The Rockies are interested in Ty Wigginton and will monitor the market for infielders, but they will wait to see if the club remains in contention before dealing for infield help. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that for now, the Rockies will rely on Clint Barmes and Jonathan Herrera while Troy Tulowitzki's broken wrist heals. If the Rockies remain in contention after they play seven consecutive series against winning teams, they could pursue infield help.

If the 37-33 Rockies are contending in mid-July, Rosenthal suggests Wigginton and Dan Uggla as possible targets. Other infielders such as Adam Kennedy, Akinori Iwamura, Jayson Nix and Ryan Theriot could also draw interest from GM Dan O'Dowd and the rest of the Rockies front office. But at least for now, the team is in wait-and-see mode. 


Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Mauer, McCutchen, Guzman

On this date back in 1974, the Red Sox released Orlando Cepeda and Luis Aparicio, both future Hall of Famers. Cepeda, then 36, signed with Kansas City and retired after the season as a .297/.350/.499 career hitter with 379 home runs. Aparicio, 39 at the time, never played again following his release, and finished his career as a .262/.311/.343 hitter and with a reputation as one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball history.

Here are some links from around the baseball blogosphere…

If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.


Nationals Sign Adam Kennedy

The Nationals officially signed second baseman Adam Kennedy to a one-year $1.25MM deal today, which includes a $2MM club option for 2011. Kennedy's fate was known to be tied to Orlando Hudson, who signed with the Twins the day before Kennedy agreed to terms with the Nats.

Kennedy, 34, hit .289/.348/.410 in 586 plate appearances for the Athletics last year.  In his career he's been a strong defender at second base, though that was not evident in 2009's 421-inning sample.

The Cardinals released Kennedy in February of '08, eating most of the $4MM owed to him.  The Rays signed him to a minor league deal and traded him to Oakland for a player to be named later in May.  The Rays later received Joe Dillon in that deal.

MLB.com's Bill Ladson first reported the agreement and ESPN.com's Buster Olney added the terms of the deal.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.


Odds & Ends: Jays, V-Mart, Jeter, Gonzalez

Links for Friday…


Odds & Ends: Nationals, Hudson, Brewers, Guzman

Thursday night linkage..