Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Jason and the AutoOuts

Yesterday, the Cubs acquired Jason Kendall and cash from the A's for Rob Bowen and minor league pitcher Jerry Blevins. It should have sent up a bunch of red flags that A's GM Billy Beane was actually willing to pay someone to take Kendall off of his hands, but the Cubs were apparently undeterred. I imagine the conversation at Cubs headquarters went something like this:

GM Jim Hendry: Hey, the A's just called to help out with our catching problem. They say Jason Kendall is available.

Asst to Hendry: Oh great. Thanks, but no thanks.

Jim Hendry: I think we should go for it.

Asst: What??? But sir, Kendall can't hit the ball anymore. Like at all. He is not a good hitter.

Hendry: I got a question for you- Has Jason Kendall ever been to an All-Star game?

Asst: Well...sure, but...

Hendry: Listen, kid. Let me teach ya something about this game. Any time you get an opportunity to trade for an All-Star, you gotta make that deal.

Asst: (prepares resume for after Cuban clears house).

Just a couple of weeks ago, ESPN writer Rob Neyer had this to say (insider membership) about Kendall:

"This season he's quite probably the worst everyday player in the majors."

Kendall's slugging percentage is .281, which is the 2nd worst amongst all regular position players in the majors. I know Kendall provides all of the intangible qualities you look for in a catcher- handling the staff, studying hitters, umm..getting hit by pitches?; but the Cubs now have two automatic outs at the #8 and #9 spot, so Kendall had better be really good at breaking down opposing hitters to make up for that loss of run production.

I dunno, maybe the Cubs just wanted a catcher that would fight with opposing pitchers instead of their own.



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