Cubs Trade for Jason Kendall
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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.