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.