The Phillies plan to use newly acquired Howie Kendrick as their left fielder, but they value his versatility, writes Ryan Lawrence of PhillyVoice. “[F]or a young roster, especially with us likely to add many young players to our 40-man roster, having a player on the 25-man who has the ability to play left field, first base, second base, third base, really does provide Pete [Mackanin] with a lot of flexibility from a game to game basis,” GM Matt Klentak says. Kendrick’s versatility should help the Phillies avoid blocking young players who would benefit from big-league time. Klentak adds that the Phillies are not looking to trade second baseman Cesar Hernandez. If they do, though, Lawrence notes that Kendrick could see time at second, with Freddy Galvis potentially moving to the position if and when J.P. Crawford is promoted to play shortstop. Here’s more from the East divisions.
- It doesn’t sound like the Nationals will be able to spend as freely this winter as they have in the past, the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes reports. The issue is the team’s ongoing rights dispute with the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. “[The MASN money] affects us,” says Nats exec Mike Rizzo. “It’s something we’ve had to manage now for four offseasons. It’s something that needs to get rectified quickly.” Last year, the Nationals attempted to lure Yoenis Cespedes with a deal that included deferred money. This year, Rizzo says the Nats have interest in Cespedes again, although the terms of that interest seem a bit non-specific. “We’re looking to improve the club any way we can,” says Rizzo. “If it makes sense for us, he improves any team he plays on.” Rizzo adds that the Nationals would have to “make some maneuvers” to clear payroll space for Cespedes or another highly expensive free agent.
- The Mets and Yankees both have interest in free agent lefty Boone Logan, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. The 32-year-old Logan is coming off a strong year in Colorado, posting a 3.69 ERA, 11.1 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 over 46 1/3 innings and holding lefties to a .139/.222/.255 line. As Sherman notes, the Mets stand to lose lefty Jerry Blevins to free agency, and the Yankees have traded lefties Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Justin Wilson over the past year. Logan, of course, left the Yankees via free agency in late 2013 after four solid years in New York.