Nationals Announce Kennedy Signing

Posted by Dave Nichols | Friday, February 12, 2010 | , , , | 0 comments »

Here's the press release...


The Washington Nationals today signed free-agent second baseman Adam Kennedy to a one-year contract. Nationals Senior Vice President & General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Last season, Kennedy batted .289 with 29 doubles, 11 home runs, 63 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 129 games with Oakland depite playing home games at pitcher-friendly Oakland-Alameda County Stadium. Not only was Kennedy’s .410 slugging percentage last year the second-best mark of his career (.449 in 2002), he ranked second in the AL by batting .368 (43-for-117) with runners in scoring position. Additionally, seven of Kennedy’s 11 homers gave Oakland the lead and another tied the game.

In 11 big league seasons, the 34 year-old Kennedy has hit .277 (1270-for-4583) with 241 doubles, 68 home runs, 486 RBI and 156 stolen bases in 1356 games with Oakland, St. Louis and Los Angeles (AL). He has hit .300 or betters twice (2005, 2002) during his career, and thrice posted a double-digit home run total (2009, 2003-04) and swiped 20 or more bags (2009, 2003, 2000).

Known as a strong defender, Kennedy’s 4.92 total chances per 9.0 innings ranked second among all AL second basemen (minimum 750 games) in the just-completed decade (2000-09).

Kennedy is perhaps best known as the MVP of the 2002 ALCS, during which he homered three times in Game 5 to register just the sixth three-homer game in post-season history. Kennedy has twice reached the post-season, and is a .308 career hitter in 25 playoff games. He earned a World Series ring with Anaheim in 2002.
As I've said previously, Kennedy's arrival means Cristian Guzman will go back to short, and Ian Desmond will either play short in Triple-A or play a utility role here in Washington, even playing all three outfield spots, according to an interview with Jim Riggleman earlier inthe week.

Let's hope, for Desmond's sake, they send the kid back to Syracuse to play everyday.  As much as he may want to stick with the big club. it's more important that he play every day at this stage in his career.  This team has plenty of utility (Harris, Bruntlett, Orr) to go around that they don't need to risk one of the team's solid prospects in the spot.

There has been no announcement on a corresponding move to make room from Kennedy on the 40-man roster.  We'll keep our ears open.