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Tampa Bay Rays interested in infielder Howie Kendrick

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The postseason hero is said to be looking for a short-term deal

MLB: World Series-Houston Astros at Washington Nationals Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays are reportedly interested in signing veteran infielder and postseason hero, Howie Kendrick.

The veteran 36 year old infielder is coming off a one year deal with the Washington Nationals in which he hit .344/.395/.572 with 17 home runs over 146 plate appearances. Kendrick produced 2.9 fWAR over 121 games played for the Nationals. During the postseason, Kendrick was invaluable to the eventual World Series champions as he provided several clutch hits during the playoffs, including a go-ahead grand slam during game five of the NLDS.

Then, during game seven of the World Series, it was Kendrick who launched a go-ahead two run home run that took the Nationals from the jaws and death and gave them a one run lead and eventual victory.

Kendrick was originally drafted in the 10th round of the 2002 draft by the Los Angeles Angles, with whom he made his MLB debut in 2004. After several 9 mostly successful seasons in Anaheim (averaged 2.5 fWAR per season), Kendrick joined the Dodgers in 2015. Kendrick would also play for the Phillies before joining the Nationals in 2017.

The Rays of course will not be the only team interested in obtaining Kendrick as his 2019 campaign will have many teams across the league calling his number. His 2019 season saw improvements well reflected in STATCAST leaderboards that hint at his success being repeatable in 2020.

MLB Trade Rumors recently projected Kendrick to a $6 million AAV for the Florida native, which should be easy to achieve for one of the lowest payroll teams in baseball.

It will be a long offseason filled with plenty of rumors of players the Rays are interested in and Kendrick’s name is just the first in lone line of rumblings we’ll see associated with the Tampa Bay Rays. Nevertheless it’s easy to see the connection here as the Rays will again be on the look out for a solid right handed bat to compliment their left handed hitting team.