General manager Jon Daniels has done a tremendous job of adding pitching depth at a low-cost this off-season. The Rangers are still in need of bench depth, could Howie Kendrick be a low-cost fit in Arlington?
Right now, the Texas Rangers look set as far as starting positions throughout the infield and outfield. The team does lack depth, and especially a veteran presence off the bench. Could adding Howie Kendrick be the answer the Rangers are looking for off the bench?
Kendrick hit .315 with nine home runs and 41 RBI in 91 games with the Phillies and Nationals in 2017. He added 12 stolen bases and only struck out 68 times over 334 plate appearances. Kendrick could be an interesting option at the top of the lineup for Texas.
He has experience in both the infield and outfield. He earned just $10 million last season, which is a steal after looking at his 2017 campaign. The Rangers could use Kendrick on a one or two year deal to help while their young hitters develop.
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The Rangers are hopeful that Rougned Odor can bounce back in 2018. He hit .204 with 30 home runs and 75 RBI last season. If he struggles again, having a player like Kendrick would really benefit the Rangers.
Left field is also a possible problem for the Rangers heading in 2018. Youngster Willie Calhoun is expected to take over that spot, but has limited MLB experience. He played in 13 games with the Rangers last season, but Texas doesn’t have much depth behind him.
The 34-year-old Kendrick is unlikely going to be a starter at this point in his career. Most teams he’d be a platoon player or coming off the bench. The Rangers could make a big splash here and bring in Kendrick to help fill in their bench.
It’s a short-term deal that brings a lot of upside and depth to the organization. He’s a veteran player that has been around for a while and can help young hitters like Odor. This seems like a smart move to consider adding Kendrick this winter.