Last offseason Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman shook up the roster by packaging All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon to the Miami Marlins.
Hours later the Dodgers flipped Andrew Heaney, included in their haul from the Marlins, to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for Howie Kendrick.
Kendrick put forth another strong, consistent season in 2015, only slightly disrupted by a hamstring strain that forced him to miss month beginning in mid-August.
In continuing with his position-by-position rankings, ESPN’s Buster Olney ranked the top-10 second basemen, placing Kendrick at No. 8:
8. Howie Kendrick, free agent (previously the Los Angeles Dodgers)
Kendrick has played 10 seasons in the major leagues and has never hit lower than .285, never higher than .322; he is an offensive metronome, and last season for the Dodgers, he batted .295 with a .336 on-base percentage. He also missed 45 games, mostly because of a hamstring issue.
Kendrick is a free agent, and after turning down a qualifying offer from the Dodgers, it’s uncertain where he will land. But his next team can expect his usual: a batting average of about .290, with steady (if unspectacular) defense and a great clubhouse presence.
Kendrick hit .295/.336/.409 with nine home runs, 54 RBIs, 64 runs scored, and a .325 wOBA and 109 wRC+ over 117 games in his first season with the Dodgers.
He was among the league leaders when hitting with runners in scoring position, batting .360. The 32 year old declined the Dodgers’ qualifying offer and reportedly is seeking at least a four-year contract.
Olney ranked Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros the top second baseman, with Gordon right behind him.
Gordon built on his 2014 All-Star campaign by winning the National League batting title, leading the Majors in stolen bases for the second consecutive season and winning his first Gold Glove Award.
Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi recently praised the speedy second baseman for the success he had last season.