Dodgers News: Howie Kendrick Believes He’ll Fit In

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Just one day after the Los Angeles Dodgers dealt Drew Butera to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for the first trade between the two teams since 1976, they completed another transaction that helped fill a void for both teams.

Hours after the Dodgers landed prospects from the Miami Marlins for Dan Haren, Dee Gordon and Miguel Rojas, one of the trade chips — Andrew Heaney — was sent to the Angels for Howie Kendrick. In Heaney, the Angels received one of the more highly-rated pitching prospects and Kendrick gives the Dodgers an All-Star second baseman to replace the All-Star they had just traded.

While Kendrick remains in Southern California, the Dodgers are the first team he’ll play for other than the Angels in his career. In an interview with John Hartung, Jerry Hairston Jr., and Orel Hersisher on Access: SportsNet Dodgers, Kendrick discussed the change:

At first it was tough. But at the same time, I’m going to another organization, a winning organization. Last year made the playoffs, hopefully we’ll be moving forward this year making the playoffs and hopefully get a World Series ring.”

As for now joining the other side of the Freeway Series, Kendrick is confident he’ll fit in with his new teammates:

I’ve been able to get along with everybody everyhwere I’ve been. Whether it’s baseball or just in life in general. There’s a lot of great guys over in this clubhouse. I know some of the guys from playing against them and you get a feel for what people are like. Greinke and I were teammates for a little while, Ethier I kind of played in the Minor Leagues. Some of the guys I know. It’s just one of those things where you get in and you don’t want to step on anybody’s toes, but you’re there to play baseball and have fun. A lot of guys there work hard. I like to play the game hard and work hard, hopefully that’ll carry over into the locker room and out onto the field.”

While some were surprised by the Dodgers’ decision to trade Gordon, Kendrick compares favorably aside from the speed aspect and threat to steal bases. In a lineup that will now be without Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez, Kendrick can help offset the loss in a manner that Gordon wouldn’t have been able to.

Although it was not made official as of this writing, Kendrick is expected to be one half of the Dodgers’ new middle infield as a trade for Jimmy Rollins should soon be formalized. Kendrick is a career .292/.332/.424 hitter and will be in the final year of his contract next season.

Staff Writer

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  1. Fans (and chicks) like the long ball, but I think Kendrick, Rollins, Grandal and Pederson will be just fine offensively while greatly improving the important up-the-middle defense. As a fan, it’s tough seeing Kemp go. But if Dodgers reinvest those dollars saved to help get another solid starter and another RP or two, I think the overall team will be much sounder. Add the prospects and new bullpen options already gained and I really like what Friedman and company are doing. Go Dodgers.

    1. Pederson will have to win that spot in spring….He hits below the Mendoza line in spring and he is back at AAA bank on it

        1. Well you can believe that all you want..Kemp is going to come back and haunt this team for the next 5 years…..and If Joc fails in the spring…Expect Heisey out there in CF……they did not bring him in to ride the pine

  2. Grandal is going to be the biggest Dodger trade flop since Charles Johnson…

    1. Grandal just needs to hit above .200 to be an improvement at the plate and Ellis wasn’t really a great defensive catcher. So really the bar is rather low.

      1. Ellis is a .250 career hitter. He was injured twice last year, and most of his detractors forget that part, just like those who hate on Matt Kemp, forget he had 3 major surgeries, one an ankle injury that cut his speed immensely…..Now that being said….No Ellis is not the greatest defensive C, but he calls a great game and his pitchers trust him..Greinke was the only guy who asked for Butera. Grandal has a bad knee that can flare up at any time as has Ellis….so there is not a real upgrade at C,.,,,,which means you traded Kemp for a minor league P. Because remember, Fed Ex went in that deal too…….

        1. You forgot to mention pitch framing which is very important. No one forgets Kemp had three surgeries. No one will likely forget that he has arthritis in both hips. These facts made him hard to move. Ellis really isn’t a great catcher. He’s a great team mate, he calls a good game. Grandal is an upgrade, a slightly better bat, younger and frames pitches better. San Diego had great pitching so you could say he likely calls a good game.

          1. Good points….Never said AJ was a great catcher. Kemp was the easiest to move..he had more upside then Ethier or Crawford..He has power, a pretty good arm. But…no one, not even the Dodger front office will ever convince me that what they got in return from SD got Kemp was worth it…I tell you how god Grandal was….he was not even listed in Who’s who in Baseball’s 2014 edition… And Kemp showed he is coming back from his surgeries.I do not like Grandal…..I do not like PED users and do not want them on my team. His only asset is he is 26….and if Grandal is a better bat, he has not proved that in the bigs yet……..more power maybe…..and he walks a lot…but his career BA is worse than AJ’s

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