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Beating a Dead Horse: The Kendrick Trade Edition


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By Glen McKee, AngelsWin.com Columnist/Satirist - 

There are many things we love here at the AngelsWin.com executive offices.  Beating a dead horse is just one of them; we also enjoy publishing our opinions in a not-so-timely manner.

About two weeks ago a rumor was posted that the Angels were looking to trade either Kendrick or Freese.  AngelsWin founder, Chuck Richter, has recently put the kibosh on the rumor of a Kendrick trade and Freese is virtually untradeable, but that won’t stop me from speculating about whether a Kendrick trade would be worthwhile.  Oh no it won’t!  Let’s go ahead and give a (non-) definitive take on whether the Angels should trade him.

Don’t trade him – it’s really that simple.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve already had nine seasons of Howie at 2B.  It seems like just a few years ago he was a hot prospect who was guaranteed to have a few batting titles by the time he has retired.  Dude had hype to spare, and that is part of the problem when considering Kendrick.  You have to step away from the hype to see how valuable he is, even with only a year left on his contract (and that he only has a year left at an affordable price makes him even less tradable).  Forget the hype and just look at his raw stats over those nine years: .293 BA, .347 OBP, .744 OPS.  Compare that to the career stats for the sports media’s favorite rat-boy, Dustin Pedroia: .278, .337, .712.  If you asked just about any writer or casual baseball fan who they’d take between Kendrick and rat-boy, about 115% would take rat-boy despite the inferior stats. 

Howie is like Amy Adams before American Hustle.

Here’s a picture of her in The Muppets and in Talladega Nights:

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Certainly easy on the eyes but nothing that makes you take more than a second glance, especially within the context of movie stars.  

And then she did American Hustle:

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I can’t quite put my finger on what was different for her in that movie (really, I can’t) but it made everybody take notice.  She’s the Howie Kendrick of the Angels.  Easy to take for granted until you see her in the right context, and then you realize what she has to offer.  Hopefully it’s not too late for us with Howie.  
This is especially important when you consider the two possible replacements for Howie.  First is Grant Green.  Grant Green is like Hugh Grant after Four Weddings and a Funeral.  Looking good, lots of potential, and everybody wants to see more from him.  And then this happened:

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If we made Grant Green our starting 2B because we traded Howie, his play would be the equivalent of Hugh Grant getting busted with a hooker while he was shacking up with Elizabeth Hurley.  Grant would be Hugh, and Kendrick on another team would be Elizabeth Hurley in Bedazzled:

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I won’t cast judgment on Hugh Grant for giving up that to get a little something on the side because we don’t know what was going on with him and Liz, but damn…on the surface that looks like the Hollywood equivalent of trading Napoli for Wells. Now, I’m not comparing Vernon Wells to a prostitute, but yeah – we’ve been down that road and paid the bill, and watched Mike Hurley move on to greater success and a WS championship, while we couldn’t wait to kick Vernon out of our car.  And by the way, thinking of Mike Napoli mixed with Elizabeth Hurley is giving me the oddest feeling that I can’t describe in a family atmosphere. 

The other possible replacement for Howie is Gordon Beckham, and he could be had for arbitration rates which would probably be somewhere over $6 million, which is roughly half of what Howie is making.  In 26 games with the Angels last year he performed above his career averages (thanks, Scioscia and Baylor!) across the board, which means either he likes it here and will continue to perform at that level or that he found a package in the locker room with Brad Fullmer’s name on it and helped himself to the contents.  Well, it’s also possible that playing in Anaheim instead of Chicago would make anybody happier and thus perform better (thanks, Obama!).  Either way, he was certainly decent with us and showed potential to be a good replacement for Howie, and if he tanks we still have Divine Green to pick up the slack.
  
The key word in there is potential and it’s a killer.  Brandon Wood had potential, and so did Mike Trout.  Charles Manson had potential to be a pop star; Dennis Wilson – Dan Haren’s dad as far as looks go – even stole a song from him after Manson was in prison.  That’s how iffy potential is.  Now, I’m not suggesting that Gordon Beckham is Charles Manson, but I’m just saying they both have potential.
  
The bottom line is that we know what we have with Howie, even if it’s only for another year, and we don’t know what we have with Divine Green or Gordon Manson.  We also don’t know what we could get for Howie.  He has one year left so a trade would have to be to a contending team that needs a 2B.  Oakland could use Howie but the only thing worse than watching that dillweed Eric Sogard tear us up would be seeing Howie in an Oakland uniform going deep on Matt Shoemaker, and you know that would happen.  What other contending team needs a 2B and has a pitcher to spare for a trade? After last year’s Trumbo trade I have confidence in Jerry Dipoto, but I doubt there is much out there for one year of a very good 2B.  The potential isn’t worth it. 

Keep Howie and see how Grant Green develops, and give the job to him next year. 
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Ha ha, good stuff Glen. I hear where you are coming from, and agree to some extent, but also think it really depends upon what Dipoto can get in return. If its Howie + Jepsen + a tin of grandma's fudge then yeah, you do it and take the risk on Green and/or Beckham (although you don't offer Beckham arbitration - sorry, Gordo, you're not worth $5M...maybe $2M).

 

Another way to put it:

 

Howie + LeBlanc/Rasmus <<< Green/Beckham + Zimmerman

 

But you don't trade Howie just to "give Green a shot." Green is 27 next year and Gordon is 28, plus with 739 games to his name. Gordon is likely never going to fulfill the promise he showed in 2009 and Green is simply past the "sleeper prospect" phase and into the "minor league veteran with potential to surprise" phase. You trade Howie if you get at least a good #3 type, and definitely a #2 type like Zimmerman.

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Great piece, Glen, but these aren't their career stats:

 

Forget the hype and just look at his raw stats over those nine years: .293 BA, .347 OBP, .744 OPS.  Compare that to the career stats for the sports media’s favorite rat-boy, Dustin Pedroia: .278, .337, .712. 

 

Those are their 2014 stats. Here are their career slash lines:

 

Howie: .292/.332/.424

 

Pedroia: .299/.366/.444

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Great piece, Glen, but these aren't their career stats:

 

Forget the hype and just look at his raw stats over those nine years: .293 BA, .347 OBP, .744 OPS.  Compare that to the career stats for the sports media’s favorite rat-boy, Dustin Pedroia: .278, .337, .712. 

 

Those are their 2014 stats. Here are their career slash lines:

 

Howie: .292/.332/.424

 

Pedroia: .299/.366/.444

 

Fail.

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 And by the way, thinking of Mike Napoli mixed with Elizabeth Hurley is giving me the oddest feeling that I can’t describe in a family atmosphere. 

 

 

It is because you desperately want to see one of them topless and taking a load in their mouth.

 

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