Howie Kendrick signs one-year deal to return to Nationals

Ross Houston
December 8, 2019

The Washington Nationals have signed free agent infielder Howie Kendrick.

Kendrick's deal is still pending until he passes his physical. He primarily plays at first base now, but started games at every infield position except shortstop in 2019.

Even without Gomes' deal, they're more than halfway toward the $208 million CBT threshold when also factoring in minor league salaries and player benefits. With Ryan Zimmerman, Matt Adams, Brian Dozier and Asdrubal Cabrera all entering free agency, the Nats have some uncertainty at first base and second base, making a reunion with Kendrick a rather sensible pursuit. And in the World Series, it was Kendrick's remarkable Game 7, opposite-field shot off the foul pole that put the Nationals ahead by a 3-2 margin they'd never relinquish.

The pitcher, meanwhile, was named World Series MVP for his exploits in the fall classic.

He also provides a middle-of-the-order bat, who can still hit the long ball.

Kendrick, 36, is fresh off a 2019 season in which he slashed a mighty.344/.395/.572 with 17 home runs and 23 doubles in 121 games.

Not to be forgotten is the grand slam he hit in the 10th inning of Game 5 of the NLDS to lift Washington past the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kendrick arrived in Washington via trade in July 2017, then re-signed with the Nationals following that season.

If the Phillies manage to poach either Rendon or Strasburg - or, if I can think truly deliciously for a second, both - from their division rivals, one year after snatching the face of the franchise in Harper, Nationals fans might actually lose their collective minds.

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