Free-agent infielder Howe Kendrick may be close to parlaying a brilliant 2019 campaign with the World Series-winning Nationals into a contract with a different club. The Rays are the front-runners to sign Kendrick, Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Meanwhile, Cincinnati – another team that has been connected to Kendrick early this offseason – doesn’t seem likely to sign him, a source told Nightengale.
The 36-year-old Kendrick is well-equipped for an American League team like the Rays, with whom he’d be able to primarily serve as a first baseman/designated hitter. He’s also still versatile enough defensively to see time at second and third base. Beyond that, Kendrick’s ability to rake adds to his appeal as a free agent – one who MLBTR predicts will land a two-year, $12MM contract.
Kendrick has been a quality hitter since his career began in 2006, but he’s now on the heels of his best offensive campaign yet.