Dodgers regain Howie Kendrick on two-year deal
By Jon Weisman
If the Dodgers were prepared to move into the 2016 season without Howie Kendrick, it’s also clear how happy they should be that he’s coming back.
The 32-year-old second baseman has signed a two-year contract to reunite with the Dodgers, whom he provided a .336 on-base percentage and 109 weighted runs created last season.
The immediate impression is that Kendrick is the player who solidifies the Dodger infield. His return frees Chase Utley to spend more time supporting Justin Turner at third base and Kiké Hernandez to roam around the field as he did in 2015. Kendrick himself might dabble in the hot corner.
Though Opening Day is nearly nine weeks away, and Spring Training and injuries will certainly shuffle the deck, here’s how the Dodger roster of position players currently shapes up:
- Catchers: A.J. Ellis, Yasmani Grandal
- Infielders: Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Chase Utley
- Infielder-outfielders: Alex Guerrero, Kiké Hernandez, Scott Van Slyke
- Outfielders: Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig
- In the wings: Austin Barnes, Micah Johnson, Trayce Thompson, plus the non-roster invitees
An above-average player for each of the past five years, Kendrick is a nice one to say hello to again.