Jason Kendall Rumors

Jason Kendall Retires

TUESDAY, July 24th: Kendall has retired, according to a Royals press release. He played in two games before retiring, collecting one single in three trips to the plate.

THURSDAY, July 19th: The Royals announced that they signed veteran catcher Jason Kendall to a minor league contract. Kendall will report to Double-A Northwest Arkansas, where he's scheduled to start tomorrow night.

Kendall missed the end of the 2010 season and all of the 2011 season to recover from shoulder surgery. The 38-year-old is a three-time All-Star who ranks fifth all-time with 2,025 games caught. Kendall posted a .256/.318/.297 batting line for the Royals in 2010, his last season in the Major Leagues.

Central Notes: Sizemore, Kendall, Reds, Votto

Here’s a look at some items out of the Central divisions..

Cafardo’s Latest: Bell, Kazmir, Kendall, Aramis

Heath Bell's name has been near the top of this season's list of trade candidates for months, and in this week's Sunday Baseball Notes, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe adds a new potential suitor to the mix. According to Cafardo's source, the Rays are interested in the Padres' closer, but will have to determine over the next couple weeks whether they have "enough firepower" to go all out to catch the Red Sox and Yankees. Here are a few other highlights from Cafardo:

  • The Yankees, Rangers, Diamondbacks, and Phillies are a few other teams monitoring Bell.
  • While there hasn't been a whole lot of interest in Scott Kazmir, the Padres and Rangers have "taken a look."
  • Jason Kendall, who hasn't played this year as he recovers from shoulder surgery, has re-torn two rotator cuff tendons. Kendall will undergo additional surgery, possibly ending his career. Royals manager Ned Yost on the procedure: "That takes him out of the picture for this year and out of the picture for next year…. I think it’s more a quality-of-life surgery so he can have function in his shoulder."
  • The Angels appear to be the team most interested in Aramis Ramirez, though Cafardo names the Mariners, Giants, Braves, and D'Backs as other clubs who could look into the Cubs' third baseman. Of course, Ramirez's agent said earlier this week that his client likely won't waive his no-trade clause, so inquires may be futile.

Royals Notes: Kendall, May, Francoeur

The Royals are having a tough season at the major league level, but their minor leaguers are playing extremely well. Today's news and developments are no exception to the year's trend:

  • Jason Kendall will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel. The catcher's under contract with Kansas City for 2011, but he won't be back until early next season, since the recovery time is at least eight months.
  • The Royals called on catcher Lucas May, according to a team press release. The Royals obtained May in July when they sent Scott Podsednik to Los Angeles. When the Royals acquired May, GM Dayton Moore called him a "slam dunk MLB catcher" in some capacity.
  • The Royals named third baseman Mike Moustakas and left-hander John Lamb minor league hitter and pitcher of the year, respectively. Moustakas raked in the upper minors this year, hitting 34 homers, posting a 1.008 OPS and driving in over a run per game as a 21-year-old. Lamb wasn't too bad, either, posting a 2.33 ERA across three levels and striking out more than one batter per inning.
  • Speaking of future Royals, one NL official guaranteed to Newsday's Ken Davidoff that Jeff Francoeur will play for Kansas City in 2011 (Twitter link). The Rangers technically control Francoeur's right's next year, but they'll likely non-tender him, so the Royals, who have appeared interested before, will likely have a shot at signing the outfielder.

Largest Contracts In Team History

We've already looked at the largest contracts by service time and position, so let's now dig up the largest contracts ever given out by each of the 30 teams. These are in terms of guaranteed money only, but some could end up being even larger because of incentives and option years.

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.

Royals Rumors: Kendall, Myers, Crisp

SATURDAY, 9:35am: Bob Dutton of The KC Star says Kendall will earn $2.25MM in 2010 and $3.75MM in 2011, with another $250K in incentives. It's the same two year, $6MM deal Pudge Rodriguez received

FRIDAY, 6:54pm: Royals GM Dayton Moore said on a conference call that the reported terms ($4MM) for Jason Kendall's deal are about right. The team expects him to mentor young pitchers and catching prospect Wil Myers, Moore said.

Kendall, who insists he feels like he's in his early twenties, says he wants to win in Kansas City. But it wasn't his only choice.

"There were other offers, but I'm a Kansas City Royal now," he said. " Dayton and the Royals called me the first day [of free agency]."

When asked about free agent Coco Crisp, Moore said the Royals "remain open" to all of the team's free agents, including the center fielder.

Royals Sign Jason Kendall

6:24 PM: The Kansas City Star's Bob Dutton tweets that the deal is worth roughly the same as the two-year/$6MM contract Ivan Rodriguez signed with Washington earlier this week.

4:59 PM: The Royals signed catcher Jason Kendall to a two-year contract, according to a press release from the team.  Kendall, 35, hit .241/.331/.305 in 526 plate appearances for the Brewers this year, catching 1,162 innings.  Ivan Rodriguez and Brian Schneider also received two-year deals so far this winter.

The Royals entered the offseason intending to reboot their catching situation.  They've declined an option on Miguel Olivo and signed Kendall, and may non-tender John Buck tomorrow.

Royals Offer Two Years To Jason Kendall

THURSDAY, 3:17pm: Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Royals are making progress on a two-year deal with Kendall, perhaps worth more than $4MM.

WEDNESDAY, 4:20pm: Another catcher gets a two-year offer – Kendall – courtesy of the Royals (Dutton reporting).

TUESDAY, 7:31pm: The Royals don't appear likely to spend more than about $2MM on a catcher, according to Dutton. GM Dayton Moore says the Royals would consider a multi-year deal under the right circumstances.

10:39am: Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star tweets that the Royals will "look at" Jose Molina as a possible starting option.

8:09am: Kendall is said to be "focusing on a possible contract with Kansas City," writes Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports.  Kendall likes the opportunity but they have to find a middle ground on the money.

3:41am: The Kansas City Star's Bob Dutton reports that the Royals are shifting their focus to veterans Jason Kendall and Rod Barajas to fill their catching needs. The Royals, previously reported to have interest in Ivan Rodriguez, stood by and watched as Pudge inked a two-year deal with Washington.

Having found few appealing scenarios through the trade market, the Royals will now look to Kendall and Barajas. Kendall, 35, posted a line of .241/.331/.305 while earning $5MM. Barajas, 34, hit .226/.258/.403 while earning $2.5MM.

The Royals don't have the dollars to match Kendall's 2009 salary, but it's hard to imagine anyone giving him $5MM anyway. The Royals could offer Barajas a similar salary, and as Dutton points out, both players could be attracted to Kansas City because of an increased opportunity for playing time.

Which option would you prefer for your club?

Other quick hits from the article:

  • Clubs are asking about Gil Meche, but Dayton Moore isn't inclined to move him unless he receives a strong offer.
  • Chris Getz is the favorite over Alberto Callaspo as the starting second baseman due to defensive reasons. Callaspo is still being dangled as a trade chip.
  • Just 17 days after removing him from their 40-man roster, the Royals grabbed Julio Pimentel on a minor-league deal.

Sheets Seeking Big Money?

THURSDAY, 2:56pm: ESPN's Bruce Levine wrote last night that the Cubs had a conversation with Close about Sheets.  I'm guessing the Rangers are out now that they've signed Rich Harden, though the Yankees and Mets might still be in the mix.

WEDNESDAY, 3:02pm: Ben Sheets' agent Casey Close met with the Rangers yesterday, and according to ESPN's Richard Durrett, the pitcher "is apparently looking for money similar to what he made his last season in the majors — 2008, which was $12 million."  Sheets figures to be popular on the free agent market, but we'll have to see what kind of guarantee he requires after missing all of 2009.

Durrett also notes that the Rangers have interest in catchers Jason Kendall and Dioner Navarro, but have cooled on Rod Barajas due to his asking price.

Rangers Tuesday Recap

Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas rounds up some Texas Rangers-related rumors from the second day of the winter meetings. We've heard one or two of these already, but let's check out the highlights of Durrett's recap….

  • The Rangers are looking to bolster their bullpen, and names of interest include J.J. Putz, Matt Lindstrom, and Brett Myers. Ramon Ramirez and Chris Ray are also on their radar.
  • As FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi indicated earlier today, no Kevin Millwood trade appears imminent. A few teams are interested, but the Rangers will pull the trigger only on "the right deal." Presumably the "right" return is more about money than talent.
  • If the club is able to move Millwood, they'd look to fill the hole in their rotation with another veteran starter. Ben Sheets and Rich Harden are potential options, with the Rangers hoping to meet with Sheets' agent this week.
  • Dealing Millwood would also allow Texas to free up some money to pursue a right-handed bat. Perhaps Vladimir Guerrero or Jermaine Dye.
  • The team is looking for a catcher as well. Durrett names Jason Kendall, Rod Barajas, Jose Molina, and Yorvit Torrealba as targets.
  • Durrett and others heard earlier that the Rangers offered top prospects Neftali Feliz and Justin Smoak to Florida in exchange for Josh Johnson. Another official denies that Texas made that proposal, but suggests that the team does have interest in Johnson.