As it currently stands, second baseman Howie Kendrick is a free agent. And that’s something the Los Angeles Dodgers hope changes soon, but not in a way you’d expect.
When the Dodgers traded for Kendrick in December 2014, it was to fill a hole at second base. Now, after a few other trades and acquisitions, it appears that the team is comfortable at that position going forward. So, why are they interested in what happens to Kendrick then? Well, because he has a draft pick attached to him.
Per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, this is the Dodgers’ viewpoint on Kendrick right now:
The Dodgers want the draft pick they would get if Kendrick signs elsewhere much more than they want to bring back Kendrick. That would give them four draft picks before the start of the second round. But the Kendrick pick evaporates if he does not sign before the draft; Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales held out that long two years ago. Kendrick is not represented by Scott Boras, the agent for Drew and Morales.
The Dodgers don’t want Kendrick back, but they’re heavily invested in keeping an eye on where he goes. The draft pick that is attached to him when he signs elsewhere is obviously why. That extra pick is a hugely big deal.
Getting a fourth first round pick is something that can ignite an already powerful farm system into something of a juggernaut. The Dodgers presently have the 22nd, 31st, and 37th picks. Kendrick signing with a team will give the Dodgers a fourth that they’ll definitely covet.
So, while he is unlikely to return to the Dodgers since they have enough second base options as it is, the Dodgers are assuredly keeping a watchful eye on what transpires with Kendrick’s ongoing free agency. And you should, too.