Only one week into their offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers rumors mill has yet to hit full swing. It shouldn’t be long however, as Don Mattingly won’t return as manager next season, and Zack Greinke is expected exercise his opt-out clause and test free agency.
While the managerial opening and Greinke’s status are the leading questions for the Dodgers, the future at second base should not be overlooked.
Howie Kendrick had a successful first season with Los Angeles, but is among the players who will become a free agent this winter.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Kendrick will be extended the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer:
The Dodgers plan to give second baseman Howie Kendrick the $15.8 million qualifying offer, no questions asked.
Kendrick gave the Dodgers a veteran presence and was often praised by Mattingly and others for his work ethic. He batted .295/.336/.409 and ranked second on the team with 137 hits.
Perhaps more importantly, Kendrick played a steady second base, committing just five errors in 113 games. Like all other players who have been extended the qualifying offer, Kendrick is expected to decline it.
However, it wouldn’t necessarily spell the end of his tenure with the Dodgers should that be the case; Kendrick and the Dodgers could still come to terms on a different deal. It’s also expected the Dodgers will extend the qualifying offer to Brett Anderson.
After the Game 5 elimination loss in the National League Division Series, Kendrick said the Dodgers would be at the top of his list of teams to sign with as a free agent.