Friday, January 8, 2010

The Long Overdue Jason Kendall Post

This, given the alleged signing of Scott Podsednik to the Royals this morning, is obviously overdue, but I wanted to throw it out there so that others would see what, exactly, was said regarding the Royals signing catcher Jason Kendall to a two-year deal a few weeks back. Along with the holidays, some travelling, and generally other, more-exciting news going on, I couldn't get to it. But I also wanted to ask Joe Posnanski in person if he thought this deal was worse than the Yuniesky Betancourt signing, which I did. His response:

"Nothing is worse than the Yuniesky Betancourt deal." I disagree, but that's neither here nor there. The promised thoughts/Tweets as they pertain to the signing of Kendall, the departure of John Buck and Miguel Olivo, and my now-rapidly vanishing sense of faith in Royals General Manager Dayton Moore, after the jump.

Before we get to the thoughts, some quick bio:

1) Jason Kendall is 10 days shy of being six months older than me. I shouldn't really have to go on from there, but I will.

2) The Royals are his fifth team in 13 seasons.

3) He's a lifetime .290 hitter, .383 slugger, and has an on-base percentage of .369. In his seasons as a catcher, he's yielded a caught-stealing percentage of 29 percent, which, essentially, means that two-plus base runners out of every three, will steal safely against him.

Those are my thoughts. Here are the thoughts of Greg Schaum (minor-league expert, former Royals post-game radio show host), Rany Jazayerli (of Rany on the Royals), and Joe Posnanski (Sports Illustrated).


"Per @Royals_Report KC signs Jason Kendall for 2 yr/$6 mil + incentives. Wonder what incentives Kendall offers. Free car wash?"

"Because, see, Olivo option would have only been for 1 year. Kendall deal is 2 years! So it's better. Ha ha. See?"

"Miguel Olivo hit more HRs last year than Jason Kendall hit last year + 2008 + 2007 + 2006 + 2005 + 2004 + 2003 +2002."

"One more -- Royals projected lineup by 2009 OPS+: 106, 74, 124!, 80, 86, 76, 72, 68, 68. But they're not done making moves."


"Dear God, it's worse than we thought. RT @Royals_Report: Hearing Kendall's contract is similar to Pudge's; so about $6 million for 2 years."

"And yes, I'm an idiot for not thinking it would be, uh, worse than we thought. I give this organization way too much credit sometimes."

"John Buck will be released, and likely signs a smaller deal. KC picked Kendall not to save $$, but because they think he's better than Buck."

"To put it another way: Royals declined the option to keep Miguel Olivo for $3.3 million for one year - then gave Kendall $6 million for two."

"Kendall hasn't managed a .330 slugging average since 2006. Hasn't managed a .350 slugging average since 2004."

"P&L District: Now just the District. RT @keithlaw: Kendall has so little power that when KC signed him, all lights in Kansas City went out."

"Kendall article coming soon. Just have to mention: John Buck already signed with TOR for 1 year, $2 million. Do I even have to spell it out?"

There's also Sam Mellinger of The Kansas City Star:

"A quick point that doesn't make KC catching any better: once non-tendered, guys hardly ever re-sign for less money."

"Royals had Buck for $3.5 million next year, or not at all."

"Energy spent complaining about John Buck's contract is like wondering if the patient in ICU is wearing clean underwear."


"@mellinger No, it's like patient with terminal cancer who's on the wrong ventilator settings and the MD just stuck an IV in the wrong arm."

"Doesn't matter to patient, but would you send a loved one to that hospital? Kendall isn't problem. Having FO that picked Kendall is problem."

Then, Jazayerli's post on the signing.


"Pujols, Mauer, Ichiro, Holliday and Jeter all have higher BATTING AVERAGES than JK's SLG PCT since 2005," and his post.

Schaum, seeking optimism, I imagine, asks Royals fans:

"If the #Royals acquire JR Towles does this make you feel better about move for Kendall? Is Towles a more legit threat to eventually take job?"

And, finally, Mellinger's post, which he qualifies as "not happy."

Two days later, Schaum let's us know:

"Former #Royals catcher John Buck not un-employed for long as #BlueJays sign him. He and Chavez for now and hope Arenceibia develops."

Mellinger chimes in:

"Working on a package looking at the Royals' past decade. I might need a drink."

So you see? I could go on. The Royals gave up on two catchers who had some upside -- granted they gave Buck a long time to come around, but Olivo led the team in homers and had a stronger arm than any of the three -- to save money.


"Olivo: 1 year, $2.5M. Buck: 1 year, $2M. Kendall: 2 years, $6M. In Dayton's world, Kendall > (Olivo+Buck). We need a VP of Common Sense."

And I'll just leave it at that.