Red Sox Trade Deadline Targets: 5 bats who can smash left-handed pitching
By Sean Penney
The veteran infielder is still going strong in his 14th season, hitting .339/.391/.603 with 12 home runs and 43 RBI for the Washington Nationals.
Howie Kendrick ranks second in the majors with a .397 average while sitting in the top-10 with a .457 wOBA and 183 wRC+ against lefties this season.
While he can’t be expected to sustain those lofty numbers, Kendrick has always hit left-handers well with a career .295/.342/.443 line against them.
He may have lost a step in the field but Kendrick is still capable of fielding his position at first, second or third base. Kendrick could replace Pearce as the right-handed half of a first base platoon when a healthy Mitch Moreland returns. He could also be a serviceable second base option if rookie Michael Chavis falls into another lengthy slump.
Kendrick is owed $4 million this season, less than half of which would be paid by the Red Sox if they acquired him near the deadline. While a player producing at his current level would typically fetch a hefty price on the market, Kendrick is 35 years old and a free agent after the season. The price should be reasonable if the Nats fall out of the race.
Washington is only 3.5 games out of a playoff spot but there are a handful of teams ahead of them. They have the pitching staff to climb back in the race but if their season goes any further south they may be forced to sell.