Saturday, January 14, 2012
The Howie Kendrick extension
Howie Kendrick has signed a 4 year 33.5 million dollar extension with the Angels. Over the past 4 years, Kendrick has posted a 10.9 WAR, or 2.7 WAR per season. If Kendrick performs at the same level for the next 4 years, he will has a WASP of 3073, right around the Halladay Standard. However, in the last year of the deal, he will be 31, which is usually past the prime for a baseball player. It is not that Kendrick can't perform at a high level, or even the level he has been performing at, it is just unlikely he will be as good at age 31 as he is at 27. This makes a contract that is seemingly border-line like this one, much less attractive. Defense usually regresses quicker than offense, and Kendrick relies much more on offense than defense (just 1.7 D-WAR in his career). He is a solid defender, with a positive D-WAR every year in his career except 1. Offensively, he has a career .329 OBP and 105 OPS +. His offensive winning percentage is .495, with 4.8 Runs created per game. As those statistics point to an average offensive player, his secondary average and ISO point to something a little worse than average. He is an under average home run hitter, well below average walker, and slightly above average extra base hitter. He is an extreme groundball hitter, and sees just 3.63 Pit/PA. To me, it appears that Kendrick is really just a slightly above average player with a lot of flaws. I think the Angels overpaid a bit for him, but it is a good long term deal for Kendrick himself. If I was an Angel fan, I would really start worrying about how my team is overpaying a bunch of guys, and wonder how they are going to manage salary in a couple of years.