Nationals bringing Kennedy to Washington
Addition of second baseman keeps Guzman at shortstop
WASHINGTON -- A few hours after losing out to the Twins in the Orlando Hudson sweepstakes, the Nationals stayed busy by agreeing to terms with free-agent second baseman Adam Kennedy, according to a baseball source. Kennedy will receive $1.25 million in 2010 with a $2 million team option for '11.
The Nats have not confirmed that a deal has been reached.
The left-handed-hitting Kennedy had a nice comeback season in 2009, hitting .289 with 11 home runs and 63 RBIs for the Athletics. The previous two years, he played in just a combined 202 games because of injuries.
Kennedy, 34, is best known for his years with the Angels. In 2002, he was the American League Championship Series MVP after hitting three home runs against the Twins in Game 5.
Kennedy has a connection to manager Jim Riggleman, as the two worked together when both were in the Cardinals organization in 2007. Riggleman was the Minor League field coordinator while Kennedy played second base for St. Louis.
When reached by phone on Wednesday, Kennedy said that he was waiting for the Nationals to make a decision on Hudson, who had been the team's No. 1 target. After Washington learned it was out of the Hudson race, it went after Kennedy, who was not available for comment on Thursday.
The addition of Kennedy to the roster likely means that Cristian Guzman will remain at shortstop. The Nationals informed Guzman late last year that he would play second base in 2010 because of his lack of range at short. But they have decided to give Guzman another chance, understanding that he had right shoulder and foot problems for most of the 2009 season.
Guzman, according to agent Stanley King, is almost 100 percent healthy. He is throwing the baseball without any pain and doesn't have any foot problems.
As for Ian Desmond, Washington's shortstop of the future, he will most likely start the season in the Minor Leagues, as the Nats want him to improve his defense.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.