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”.