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Report: Nationals sign Howie Kendrick to two-year, $7 million deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reported this morning that the Nationals and utilityman Howie Kendrick were nearing a contract agreement. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic later confirmed that the two sides did indeed agree to terms on a two-year, $7 million contract.

Kendrick, 34, started last season with the Phillies and performed quite well when he was healthy. He hit .340/.397/.454 in 156 plate appearances. He battled a hamstring injury at the end of June and into July. The Phillies sent him to the Nationals ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline. In 52 games with the Nationals, Kendrick hit .293/.343/.494 in 178 PA.

The Nationals are spoken for at every position, so Kendrick will almost certainly contribute off the bench and serve as depth in the event of an injury. He had spent the vast majority of his career playing second base, but has played first and third base as well as in the outfield in recent years.

Video: Jorge Soler launches first home run of spring training

Jorge Soler
Associated Press
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The Royals and Rangers played the first game of spring training today. A few other teams (the Red Sox, Tigers and Twins) played or are currently playing college squads, but Kansas City-Texas is our first matchup of big league teams. Baseball’s back, baby! And you know what baseball means?

Kansas City’s Jorge Soler, who hit 48 homers last year to lead the American League, offered us the year’s first glimpse at recreational baseball murder when he took Kolby Allard out over the left field yard.

Mmm. That’s the good stuff. Here’s to eight and a half months more of that. Bring me the dingers.

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