Man, the Dodgers really wanted Howie Kendrick. After nearly landing him in July of 2013, the finally got their grubby mitts on him in exchange for starting pitcher Andrew Heaney, who himself was only just acquired from the Marlins.
Dodgers are acquiring Howie Kendrick from Angels, according to baseball source.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) December 11, 2014
There were briefly reports that Austin Barnes was also part of the deal, but that appears to have been incorrect. This is a one-for-one deal, sort of, as it is more or less part of a three-way deal with the Dodgers and Marlins.
Assuming the Dodgers are taking on all of Kendrick’s salary, this move looks like a real coup for the Halos. They shed $9 million off their tax number and add a pitcher with six years of team control left who was a consensus top 30 prospect going into 2014 and all it cost them was one year of Howie Kendrick. As good a player and nice a person as Howie was, it is really hard to not love this move.
There are a few questions to be resolved, however. Who plays second base for the Angels now? They could re-up with Gordon Beckham now that they can give him a starting gig. They could hand the job to Grant Green. Or maybe they could use all the payroll space to sign a veteran like Jed Lowrie. Or perhaps this is the first step in another bigger plan. With $18 million in tax space, the Angels could conceivably be in position to sign someone like James Shields without having to pay the tax. Max Scherzer could be in play, but he’d still push the Halos over the tax line, just not as far over.
As for Heaney, he’s just 23, so he’s still plenty young to spend more time in the minors, but he would seem to be a frontrunner to either fill in for Garrett Richards in the rotation the first month of the season or displace Hector Santiago all together. He is likely the Angels new top prospect, a top 100 overall prospect and a player worth being excited about. He doesn’t quite have ace potential, but should be a safe bet to become a #2 or #3 in short order.