Dodgers rightly looking to move Scott Kazmir and Howie Kendrick

If the Dodgers didn’t make any moves this offseason, they could probably construct a somewhat competitive baseball team, but we know that won’t happen. They have a number of intriguing trade pieces, including some veteran players.

Today I’m speaking about Scott Kazmir and Howie Kendrick. In the last few days, a couple of articles regarding their availability and the Dodgers’ willingness to trade them have surfaced.

First Kazmir, courtesy of Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

“Scott Kazmir could have made the free-agent starting-pitcher market a bit more interesting. However, on Saturday, he did not use his power to opt out of the two years at $32 million he still is owed by the Dodgers for 2017-18.

Thus, he now becomes a potential trade option. Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu all have two years remaining on contracts. All were injured this year, and none was on the Dodgers’ postseason roster. Los Angeles would love to find trades for each if possible and because it is viewed as perhaps the poorest free-agent market perhaps ever for starting pitching.”

First thing’s first, Sherman is about the only person championing the Dodgers trading Kazmir. Andy MuCullough mentioned Kazmir opting out, but nothing about a potential trade.

Kazmir is due $35.3 million over the next five years because of deferred money. To trade him, the Dodgers would either have to include money or take on a contract that has some significant money attached to it.

The Yankees strike me as a team that might be interested in Kazmir’s services. Their rotation is a bit thin on the back-end and when Kazmir was healthy, he was productive. Making him a $10 million/year pitcher could net the Dodgers a Low-A prospect or something like that. The Astros would also make sense due to a previous connection. While he didn’t pitch that well for them in the second half to he 2015 season, he is from the area and Houston’s rotation could use an upgrade of its own.

Kazmir doesn’t have a ton of trade value, but in a starting pitcher market that is so weak, teams could do worse than $10 million/year for a solid No. 4/5 starter in the form of Kazmir.

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Then there was this from Ken Rosenthal, regarding Kendrick.

“As the Dodgers reconfigure their roster, Howie Kendrick could be one of their odd men out.

The Dodgers are exploring a trade of Kendrick, who grew frustrated with his role last season, according to major-league sources.

Only four Dodgers had more at-bats than Kendrick during the regular season — Corey Seager, Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Turner and Chase Utley.

But Kendrick, 33, played left field more than any position, including second base, where he had spent most of his career. He also made starts at first and third.”

So, I guess we know who was upset about playing time in the postseason.

Rosenthal mentions the Angels and Phillies as possible destination. Kendrick, like Kazmir, has deferred money coming to him, and he’s owed $15 million over the next three years. As a 1-year stopgap for a team like the Angels or Phillies, he could make some sense.

The Angels acquired Cameron Maybin last week, so they might trade for a player like Kendrick, and despite them needing a second baseman, some wonder whether Kendrick can still play a capable second base for the Angels or anybody. Remember, he was given the choice by Dave Roberts in Game 1 of the NLCS and he chose left field over second base.

The Phillies are interesting. They aren’t going to contend, but they could use some of that veteran presents, and if he’s productive enough in the first half, they can spin him off for a decent player come the trade deadline. And the cost to acquire him won’t be high as he’s coming off a career-worst season.

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Bottom line is the Dodgers are going to move both of these guys prior to the season. They serve almost no purpose for the team in 2017 and beyond. Kendrick is probably the 24th or 25th man on the active roster as we speak, while Kazmir might be relegated to the bullpen by midseason.

The Dodgers aren’t going to get a lot in return for either of these guys and they’ll have to eat some of the money, but the roster spots are a lot more valuable to them going forward than having their subpar production.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.