Report: Dodgers Close to Signing Adam Kennedy For Some Reason

In my drafts folder right now, there’s about 1200 words of a 75% written post that was going to go up tomorrow, discussing how the Dodger offensive roster is largely set except for a backup infielder, either to supplant Justin Sellers or to join him. According to Tony Jackson, it looks like I might not have the luxury of finishing that post:

The Los Angeles Dodgers are close to an agreement with free-agent infielder Adam Kennedy, according to multiple sources. Length and terms of the deal weren’t immediately available.

Kennedy, who can play first, second and third, satisfies the Dodgers’ need for a utility infielder and leaves just one major item on their offseason shopping list, that being a starting pitcher to replace Hiroki Kuroda.

Kennedy’s been on four squads in the last five years and five in the last six, mainly earning notice due to Seattle’s shocking willingness to let him hit 3rd or 4th (33 starts in those two spots in 2011) and his arrest for drunk driving shortly after signing. Still, that hasn’t stopped the Dodgers from apparently trying to bringing him in to fill the Aaron Miles Memorial “I’m Short, I’m White, I’m Gritty, and Darn It, People Like Me!” spot on the roster which is apparently mandated in the new CBA. He was once a plus-fielding second baseman with a bit of pop for some very good mid-decade Angels teams, though he’s now become a defensively average-at-best utility man with a bat that totally bottomed out in 2011, putting up a wOBA that ranked as his second-worst thanks to career-worst BB/9 and K/9 rates. Of the 203 players who got at least 400 plate appearances last season, only six had lower marks than Kennedy.

At 36, off years of mediocrity save for a surprisingly okay 2009, it’s unlikely he’s suddenly going to turn that around; if you’re going to add a player who can’t hit, he might as well be able to play shortstop, which Kennedy cannot, disappointing on a team with Gordon’s frailty and a second baseman who can’t slide over as Jamey Carroll once did. I also like this note from Jackson’s piece, pointing out one of Kennedy’s many shortcomings:

Kennedy, who will turn 36 in January, also gives the Dodgers a left-handed bat off the bench, although he has a career .223 average as a pinch hitter.

Is he better than Sellers? He might not be better than Peter Sellers, and Peter Sellers died 30 years ago. Kennedy is maybe worth a non-roster invite, maybe. But he’s a veteran, so on this squad, that’ll get him locked up to a guaranteed deal. Hey, maybe even multiple years! I suppose if I had to sum this move up in three words, it’d have to be “Colletti gonna Colletti”.

Happy Birthday, Vin

You know, a year ago at this time, we spent November 29 and 30 talking about Juan Uribe‘s new contract, checking into reported interest in Johnny Damon & Jason Varitek, realizing that Jon Garland‘s “durability” might not have been what it seemed, and celebrating that Ryan Theriot was headed out for Blake Hawksworth.

This year, we’re all but settled in for the winter with the realization that the budget is largely tapped, that there’s unlikely to be much movement at the winter meetings, and that until there’s progress on the ownership front, all we can do is warily keep an eye on the interminable court proceedings, though today’s Dodgers/FOX hearing was postponed until December 7.

My, how times have changed. Still, we have a few items of interest to attend to…

* Today is Vin Scully’s 84th birthday, which allows me the opportunity to post the same picture I’ve been using for about four years. We say each year that every season we still have with Vin is a gift, and never was that more true than in 2011, arguably the worst season in the franchise’s history. The fact that we’ll have him for at least one more year, and that he’ll outlast Frank McCourt, is an honor we should all be grateful for.

* As expected, Jonathan Broxton moved on to greener pastures today, though I can’t say I predicted him signing with the Royals. He’ll set up for Joakim Soria and join a Kansas City pen that could be fearful, considering they already had an enviable talent of young relievers like Greg Holland, Blake Wood, Louis Coleman, and Tim Collins, enabling them to move Aaron Crow to the rotation. If he’s healthy, it’s a great deal for the Royals, though of course if he does succeed all you’ll hear from the usual suspects will be ”well of course, there’s no pressure in Kansas City in the 8th inning.” Uh huh.

* You’ll notice I’ve added a tracker to the right sidebar collecting all of the minor-league invites the Dodgers hand out this offseason, and the newest addition is shortstop Luis Cruz, who will be 28 in March and has seen time in 56 MLB games across parts of three seasons from 2008-10 with Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. He spent most of 2011 with Texas’ Triple-A club, though he did spend a month back in Mexico. With a .293 OBP in parts of 11 minor-league seasons, he’s organizational filler and little more, though he could see a decent amount of Triple-A playing time if Justin Sellers does indeed make the big club.

* Hey, it could be worse: San Francisco extended GM Brian Sabean’s contract through 2013 with a club option for 2014. That’ll give him plenty of time to give Nate McLouth a four-year deal after the Braves are done with him.

* Finally, do you care about hockey? Particularly college hockey? No, of course you don’t. Nor should you. That said, I did attend a game between my alma mater Boston U & Cornell over the weekend at a sold-out Madison Square Garden, and what you’ll see in the clip below was too fun not to share. Fortunately for the Terriers, this got waved off because the ref lost sight of the puck and whistled the play dead.