Phillies, Kyle Kendrick avoid arbitration with $3.6 million deal

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Kyle Kendrick and the Phillies have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $3.585 million.

Kendrick earned $2.45 million last season in his first year of arbitration eligibility and threw 115 innings with a 3.22 ERA while splitting time between the rotation and bullpen.

He’s slated for a bullpen role this season because the Phillies have Joe Blanton in the fifth spot behind Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Vance Worley, but Kendrick will likely be called upon to start at some point.

Kendrick’s career strikeout rate of 4.1 per nine innings is the fourth-worst of any active pitcher with at least 500 innings and his control isn’t even particularly great, yet he has a decent 4.41 ERA in 598 frames through age 26. However, this could be a make-or-break year for Kendrick in Philadelphia, because his salary rising any higher via arbitration next season would strain the payroll for a fifth starter/long reliever.