Cubs Trade for Jason Kendall

The Cubs have traded for Oakland A's catcher Jason Kendall for minor leaguer Jerry Blevins and recently DFA'd catcher Rob Bowen. No word yet on how much of Kendall's contract the Cubs will be picking up but Len mentioned they'll be getting cash considerations from the A's. He was making $13 million this year in the last year of his deal of which Pittsburgh is paying $5.5 million. The big question though is if this is an upgrade? Kendall's hitting a horrific 226/261/281 this year, a far cry from his career line of 298/375/398 and he's been on the decline for a good three years now. About the only thing he does do well with the bat anymore is work the count, averaging 3.79 pitches per plate appearance on the season and 3.89 for his career. Definitely known as a leader in the clubhouse and a "take charge" kind of guy, the kind of terms you use for just about every veteran catcher, he's generally near the bottom in caught stealing percentage every year although he's near the middle to upper ranks of AL catchers in wild pitches and passed balls allowed per game the last few years (as tracked by Hardball Times) . Essentially we've traded Jerry Blevins and Michael Barrett for Jason Kendall and Kyler Burke. Is that terrible? I say no. At worst, we're treading water at the position compared to the triumvirate of suck that Bowen/Hill/Soto brought. At best, Kendall picks it up in the second half and we get a nice little bonus the rest of the season. Of course, we could have just kept Barrett but it appears those waters were poisoned long ago. And there's still two weeks until the trade deadline for Hendry to pull off another move.


Kendall is hitting over .290 in his last 27 games, hopefully suggesting he's coming back up towards his .298 career average.

Good info. Makes me feel better.

And man, he must have had an *awful* start.

He was on my dynasty fantasy team the last couple of years. I finally cut him in June when he was hitting in the .190's. I was actually was pretty impressed when I heard .228.

I really liked the defense we've seen from the catching core we've run out there. Who gives a what if they can't hit. We've been winning lately, why shake it up?

We're back to a bad defensive catcher, right?

Blevins...may end up kicking us in the behind in a few years...i always question the Oakland A's....they seem to know more than most...

Tennessee Smokies (SL) AA
ERA 1.26 Whip. 0.98 IP 28.2 8bb 37K 2.51 .196 avg

Well, he's pretty good about blocking bad pitches...

I fail to see how the downside is treading water. If defense is counted as a push, Barrett's clearly the better offensive player at this point, as Kendall's power numbers are completely in the tank (6 months with a SLG below 300 since 2005). A 340ish OBP isn't all that great if you're starting from first base all the time.

Kendall probably will pick it up, simply because he can't get much worse. This isn't the late-90s Kendall we're talking about, this is another not-plus player that a lot of fans will be familiar with. Make no mistake: Jim Hendry is a Man of Action.

yeah, I've to reword that but treading water with our most recent catching combo...

I changed the channel for a minute - why were we throwing garbage on the field after going ahead?

Why did you change the channel with 2 on and 2 out and the Cubs down by a run? ;)

Changed it before that... shameless wrestling fan here.

I changed the channel for a minute - why were we throwing garbage on the field after going ahead?

Old Style?

Kendall might not be a gold glover, but its really a stretch to say that his defense is a "push" compared to Barrett, especially 07 Barrett who made 06 and 05 Barrett look pretty good.

Ultimately, The Cubs traded a struggling catcher, who fought with the staff ace, and will be a FA at the end of the year, for another struggling catcher who is clearly past his prime and will also be a FA at the end of the year.

Wait a sec -- Baseball Tonight just said we sent Marshall to the A's. What? Huh?

Wait a sec — Baseball Tonight just said we sent Marshall to the A’s. What? Huh?

Pretty sure baseball tonight is wrong.

And now their crawl says Bowen/Blevins. Yeesh.


The Cubs shuffled catchers Monday, acquiring catcher Jason Kendall from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for catcher Rob Bowen and Minor League pitcher Jerry Blevins.

Rich C/T:

I heard that too... I think they mispoke. I have only seen the deal as reported on most major news outlets. Blevins and Bowen.

yeah, someone, somewhere put Sean Marshall out there, it was a headline on as well. Hopefully someone just misheard something and it was never considered by Hendry.

ok thank god cuz my heart went to my throat when they said we traded marshall. Talk about a guy I want to see more of before giving up on him.

ok. that interview real fast with ramirez on bbtonight, check out the size of that crowd!!! here in texas fans hit the exits in the 8th inning regardless if the team is winning or not.

Uh...why are you including Soto in the triumvirate of suck? He's played, what, 2 games in the bigs? Give me a break.

I blame Barrett Karl Ravech.

Crap. It was supposed to strike through Barrett. Bah.

C'mon Rich how tough is it to get a strike on Barrett.

Now that i just realized this year is 07, the deal does not seem rotten bad. I think the Marshall stuff might be because maybe they disscussed Marshall/Bowen for Kurt Suzuki?

Good move Jimmy.

Guess you can add payroll, eh?

add payroll, yes. add years, no.

Baseball tonight just reported, again, that the Cubs gave up Marshall in the deal. 9pm Chicago time.

No way we would ever trade Marshall AND Bowen for just Kendall...would we? Or has Billy Beane somehow flipped Hendry's lid?

these guys are journalists, can they be that wrong? seriously, this is your JOB. It is our hobby and we know more, or at least, for the love of god, I hope we know more.

this trade seems to add to the chain of low/no impact moves.

at least the pitching staff should be happy with kendall...he's supposedly really agreeable with the staffs he's worked with.

i'd rather have barrett, but like someone else said, this 07 barrett is playing behind the plate at levels below what he can afford to play if he wants to continue to be an everyday catcher.

Hey guys, just put in my two cents about Blevins over at Road to Wrigley.

Here is a low/no impact trade......RAMIREZ.
sorry, you have to eat it on that one. Luck maybe, but this guy is simply CLUTCH.

All I can say is that I hope ESPN's trade report about Marshall is as accurate as their report that the Jacque to Florida trade was a done deal.

Not Marshall. Please.

and who cares about barrett. He was sucking big time. couldn't handle this staff worth shit. Look at our record since we stopped playing him. His downside defensively was supposed to be offset by his offense. And this year he looked completely lost at the bat and on the bases. He was playing very bad baseball and couldn't pull his act together.

Wish we would hurry up and dump our other 2 slugs.

ESPN's own website says it was for Blevins and Bowen. Here's the link:
Cubs website does not mention Marshall, either...

The written sources are stating its NOT Marshall.

Anyone see the Trib?


Damn caps lock..

ESPN BB 2 night Just Corrected themselves!


"Our apologies to the MArshall family."

Confirmed, Blevins and Bowen.

Barrett and Blevins for Kendall and Burke. Personally I call it a wash. Burke is the better prospect. Barrett is the best player. If Kendall turns back the clock to at least 2005. Good deal.

Bruce Levine says Oakland is paying 70-80% of Kendall's salary wrt the cash the cubs are getting

btw, Barrett/Pads are 2-10 in the 12 games he's started for SD

So, is it true that Kendall has the lowest ERA in MLB currently?

Bruce Levine says Oakland is paying 70-80% of Kendall’s salary wrt the cash the cubs are getting

Wow... if Pitt is really paying 5.5 million of this year's deal, that means Oakland owed Kendall 7.5 million this year, with approx 3.25 million left. If the A's are paying 70%, that would mean the Cubs are only on the hook for around $975,000. If that is true, that isn't too bad of a deal.

Kendall is a bad defensive catcher with a bad arm. Hendry is gambling that Kendall will somehow start hitting, but even if he does, he's a $13 million singles hitting/bad defensive catcher. It's a dumb move. All of the improvements and spark the team has picked up since dumping Barrett are thrown out now.

Look at Hill's defensive stats vs Barrett's and Kendall's. He allows half the wild pitches/passed balls/stolen base attempts the other two do. Yeah, he doesn't hit, but he's shown he's a good defensive catcher and, most importantly, WE KEEP WINNING WHEN HE STARTS.

Hendry is a fucking idiot.

So, is it true that Kendall has the lowest ERA in MLB currently?

Kendall is a pitcher?

And if true that he has the best CERA, it would make sense, being that he caught one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. CERA is much more related to the pitching staff than than the catcher.

Hendry is gambling that Kendall will somehow start hitting,

He has already started hitting - he is hitting .290+ over the last month.

Look at Hill’s defensive stats

Hill himself says that he is more of an offensive catcher than a defensive catcher. He has never really even been seen as an average defensive catcher.


Last I heard baseball was a team game, not an individual battle of catchers. And the Cubs were winning with Bowen too.

Suck... Milwaukee wins again.

Jason Kendall 2007 = Eric Karros 2003? Seems like a move with some potential upside and minimal downside, and it's only half a year with someone else picking up some of the $$$. Why not?

Meanwhile, down on the farm:

- Murton and Pie (again!) go yard, Murton throws a guy out at 3rd from RF. Think these guys want out of Iowa?
- Smardjzzz gets cuffed around again. I wonder if he is having 2nd thoughts about ditching football.

Bowen's superior signal calling was the fuel behind the Cubs' recent offensive outburst. It's all over now that he's gone.

It's pretty amazing about Sam...ja. Watching him in ST... hot gun or not, he threw an amazing 2-seamer with good location, good movement, and some hmphh. What's going on with him? Any reports?

I think this trade will be best evaluated, not this year, but two or three years down the road. I for one am looking forward to seeing how Burke pans out. Maybe something, maybe nothing. Who knows.

What is the deal with Blanco? Is there any chance he goes on the 60 day w/ back/neck surgery? Herniated disc? That must be painful.

There should be a website based solely about the offensive & defensive stats of the Catcher position. It's such a debate!!!

"So, is it true that Kendall has the lowest ERA in MLB currently?"

Ugh - the C in the CERA never made it! I know he doesn't pitch...

What is the deal with Blanco?
Blanco had some soreness in his left shoulder (non-throwing shoulder and unrelated to his cervical/neck disc problem). He was supposed to go to rehab but it's been delayed until later in the week at soonest. Supposedly his neck/herniated disc is better, hence the plans for a few games in the minors to get his hitting and defense back in tune. He'll probably be back in 7-10 days if he doesn't regress once back on the field.

Kendall's first and only playoff appearance was last year.

Hendry on the trade....

"Like I told Rob, he didn't do anything wrong," Hendry said. "When you get a chance to acquire Jason Kendall, you move forward.

"I had no intention of trading Rob Bowen a week ago. Things just happened," he said.

I love the Kendall trade. Servicable on defense, can call a good game, the Cubs need a vet behind the plate and he was the best Hendry could get his hands on at the moment. They don't need him to generate a .700 OPS, I think Kendall is the guy that gets those 1 or 2 hits in October that push the team through.

I never liked Barrett. One of my favorite Cub moments in the last few years was when Doggie brushed Barrett's hand off of him when he was trying to counsel the HOFer on the mound during a rough spot. He always impressed me as the dude everyone wanted to shut the hell up.

I know Kendall always killed the Cubs at Wrigly...What are his career stats in the Friendly Confines?

Kendall @ Wrigley


2 HR 28RBI in 51 games


Better than Hill and Bowen...not what I expected though. Any other moves com'n?

Just curious - why is no one talking about A-Ram's bush league standing at the plate to watch a double? I thought Bochy was going to have the SF pitcher hit Pagan with the next pitch.

from this morning’s Tribune (on Kendall):

Manager Lou Piniella called Kendall a “tough kid who likes to play” and said he’d probably bat him seventh.

“He gives you a good, professional at-bat, and he’ll take a walk,” Piniella said. “Basically, he’s been a .300 hitter his whole career.”

Buck Martinez on XM radio just said the Cubs didn't get Kendall to hit for power. They got him for the intangible of 'keeping the inning going'

If only there were some way to measure such an intangible such as percentage of time on base or some other crazy stat.

Kendall - whoopi! I hope it works but its as exciting as having meatloaf for lunch instead of the regular burger - let me know when they have steak and I will get excited.

Why do you even bother coming to this site? Why do you even bother watching the Cubs or being a fan? No one is talking about Ramirez's "bush league" move because he hit the GAME WINNING DOUBLE...he made it to second and wanted him to make it to third base? All you need to know about Aramis Ramirez's work ethic is that he was without a doubt the worst defensive third baseman in the NL when we got him and he has turned his defense into a plus in his short time here. I've seen my fair share of hustling third basemen since I've watched the Cubs...Dave Magidan hustled...Shane Andrews and Ron Coomer hustled...unfortunately they didn't have any TALENT, which in my mind, trumps hustle when you are the most feared hitter in a decently imposing lineup. And WHY bash the Kendall trade? I have seen Jeremy Blevins pitch once, and I thought he had a plus changeup and not much else in his repetiore...Kendall is a GOOD defensive catcher, he is not a catch and throw guy, he is a game caller and good at stopping balls. But if you didn't notice, we got NOTHING from the catcher position offensively since the Barrett trade, and even if Kendall hits .270 in his half season here it's gravy. Please refrain from just making ignorant comments and being pessimestic...or please just go root for the white sox 'cause I grow very tired of Cubs fans who just CRAVE misery.

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  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 1 hour 34 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 2 hours 9 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 2 hours 22 min ago view
  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 3 hours 46 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 47 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.


    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 53 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 3 hours 57 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 55 sec ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 4 hours 9 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 11 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 4 hours 17 min ago view
  • QuietMan 4 hours 25 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 44 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 5 hours 22 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 6 hours 7 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 6 hours 18 min ago view