Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers free agency primer: Howie Kendrick is ideal free agent addition

benrosener
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 26: Howie Kendrick #4 of the Washington Nationals is congratulated by teammates after hitting a home run against of the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 26: Howie Kendrick #4 of the Washington Nationals is congratulated by teammates after hitting a home run against of the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 4
Next
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 12: Howie Kendrick #4 of the Washington Nationals catches a fly ball hit by Matt Kemp #27 of the Atlanta Braves (no pictured) in the seventh inning at Nationals Park on September 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 12: Howie Kendrick #4 of the Washington Nationals catches a fly ball hit by Matt Kemp #27 of the Atlanta Braves (no pictured) in the seventh inning at Nationals Park on September 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Filling a need

While Kendrick isn’t exactly a starting pitcher or reliever, he could help fill pretty much every other need the Detroit Tigers have in the field.

The veteran’s defense in left field has taken somewhat of a dip in terms of value from 2016 (4.3 UZR/150, 0 DRS) to 2017 (-2.3 UZR/150, -4 DRS).

The former Dodger also turned in a 12.2 UZR/150 and a 0 DRS in a miniscule 22 inning sample in right field last season.

Still, those stats a decent overall improvement over some of the corner outfield defense got Detroit last season.

Howie Kendrick 2017 defensive metrics in left field (458.2 innings): -2.3 UZR/150, -4 DRS.

J.D. Martinez 2017 defensive metrics in right field (438 innings): -7.8 UZR/150, -6 DRS.

Alex Presley 2017 defensive metrics in right field (259.2 innings): -0.9 UZR/150, -7 DRS.

Nicholas Castellanos 2017 defensive metrics in right field (173 innings): -80.5 UZR/150, -7 DRS.

Tyler Collins 2017 defensive metrics in right field (128.2 innings): -19.2 UZR/150, -2 DRS.

Mikie Mahtook 2017 defensive metrics in left field (113.1): 12.3 UZR/150, -5 DRS.

Kendrick could also fill in across the infield.

If Kinsler is traded, the veteran could log significant innings at the position, where he owns a career 4.0 UZR/150 and a +13 DRS in 9741.1 innings, including a 2.4 UZR/150 and a +1 DRS in 129 innings at the position last season.

What’s more, Kendrick could also spell Jeimer Candelario occasionally at third base.

However, perhaps most significantly, Kendrick can play first base.

He’s only seen action in 91 innings at the position since the start of the 2012 campaign, but the 34-year-old has logged 660.1 innings at first in his career.

Finding a first baseman should be paramount for Detroit this offseason.

Miguel Cabrera needs to move off the position to designated hitter in order to prolong both his effectiveness at the plate and his career in general.

Adding Kendrick to help man first would certainly help.

The Tigers could move the versatile fielder across the diamond from the outfield corners to second and first base. He’d be an ideal candidate to share time with John Hicks at first.

facebooktwitterreddit