White Sox Wishlist: Howie Kendrick

While Southside Showdown put out an offseason plan that’s currently being slashed to ribbons by the harsh winds of reality, this new series allows for our writers to identify individual players they would like to see the White Sox pursue this offseason, why they would be good additions and how the Sox should go about getting them. Every writer is pursuing their own dreams here, so expect differing opinions.

The White Sox and Angels are destined for each other. That is to say, the White Sox and Angels are destined to become trade partners at some point during the offseason.

As the hot stove season got into full swing over the past few weeks, one thing became abundantly clear: the Angels have players the White Sox could use and the White Sox have players the Angels could use. My dream scenario was a multi-player trade that saw Peter Bourjos and Howie Kendrick come to Chicago for some combination of the pitchers the White Sox have available, and possibly Gordon Beckham.

Once Bourjos was swooped up by the Cardinals, Kendrick became the most realistic option in my eyes that the White Sox could acquire. No, he’s not the sexiest name out there, but he’s someone who could provide some degree of value the team in the immediate without mortgaging anything of much substantial future value.

Kendrick, who will turn 31 next July, has been remarkably consistent throughout his career. During the last five seasons, he’s averaged right around 3.0 bWAR per season, topping out at 4.5 in 2011. His OPS has fluctuated between .720 and .800, but his batting average has consistently been in the .280-.290 range. He’ll make just north of $9 million during the final two seasons of his current contract, which is a completely reasonable price for a player of his skill set. He also doesn’t appear to kill you defensively while playing mostly second base with an occasional spot appearance in the outfield.

What would Los Angeles want for Kendrick? It’s tough to say. Yahoo contributor Dustin Nosler pitched a deal for the Dodgers for Kendrick that included a pair of pitching prospects. For a team that is desperate to get back in contention after dumping a boatload of money into the laps of Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, the White Sox could do one better in offering Major League-ready talent.

While Jose Quintana may be too steep of a price to pay for an infielder past his prime years (and the White Sox appear to like him a lot, anyway), Hector Santiago may intrigue the Angels if dangled. Los Angeles would undoubtedly be interested in Addison Reed. And, depending on how you view the value of a “proven closer,” a deal could be construed that would send some combination of Santiago/Reed/Beckham to Los Angles for Kendrick and maybe even Chris Iannetta, a perfectly average catcher who would help the White Sox mainly in that he’s not Tyler Flowers or Josh Phegley.

The one issue with any potential deal of this ilk is that it seems counter-intuitive for a team that doesn’t appear to be near contention anytime soon to give up young talent for a pair of 30 year-olds. That may be true, and if you’re of that mind you may think my dream trade is a pile of crap.

I like it because in Santiago, Reed and Beckham, the risk of giving up too early on someone who may become a future star is incredibly low. And in Kendrick and Iannetta, you have a pair of veterans that will provide short-term upgrades while the White Sox rebuild their farm system. Neither Kendrick or Iannetta are under contract beyond 2015, so at worst they’re stopgaps and at best they make your team better.

 

Topics: Chicago White Sox, Gordon Beckham, Howie Kendrick

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