Frankly, I was terrified that he’d be getting a guaranteed contract into the millions, so this is a bit more palatable, given that 800k is barely above the veteran minimum. That means it’s a relatively low-cost investment that hardly ranks above a non-roster invite, and one that should hopefully make it easy to part ways with him if and when he proves to be cooked - though it still doesn’t answer the question of why he rates a guaranteed contract in the first place. You’d think that a decent-glove, dead-fish-bat utility infielder could be had for nothing more than a plane ticket to camp – see Aaron Miles, 2011 – but then again, creamy veteran goodness like this isn’t easy to find. (Disclaimer: it is extremely easy to find.)
As the wonderfully-named “The Dude Abides” noted in the comments yesterday, if you’re going to get a lefty-swinging infield bat who can sort of play a few positions, Wilson Betemit would have been a far better choice. No, he’s not Kennedy’s equal with the glove, but the Mark Ellis / Juan Uribe infield is full of solid defenders who may not be able to hit. Add Betemit for his offense, carry Justin Sellers for his defense, and call it a day.
Anyway, once this is finalized, it all but finishes off the offseason shopping on offense, leaving us with a presumed Opening Day crew of…
Sellers & Sands are marked because they’re young players who aren’t totally guaranteed to break camp with the club, and Gwynn hasn’t officially been tendered a contract yet, though most assume it’s a given that he will be.