The LA Angels have had poor production from the second base spot ever since trading Howie Kendrick away to the Dodgers for pitcher Andrew Heaney. Now, they can bring him back to solve the problem they created by trading Kendrick away.
The LA Angels saw the crosstown rival Dodgers almost win the World Series this season with a 38-year old Chase Utley and 30-year old Logan Forsythe handling second base duties. For a position such as second, the Halos don’t need a flashy, expensive player. If an opportunity presents itself for a long-term solution, they should jump at the chance.
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However, a quick fix like Howie Kendricks makes a lot of sense for the Halos. He has continued to be one of the most consistent players in the MLB in his time away from Anaheim. During that span, he has hit at a .284 average while playing nearly every position on the field.
Swiss army knifes like Kendrick are extremely valuable, especially when they can run the bases well. Despite being 34, Kendrick still has some juice in his legs and can be of value as a pinch runner late in games.
The Angels could use Howie as an everyday player, as he is competent against both lefties and righties. He can play third base when Luis Valbuena sits because of his .105 average against left-handed pitching. When facing right-handed pitchers, Kendrick can shift over to second as Valbuena slides in at third.
Kendrick can also serves as an outfield option. Despite having a solid outfield of Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun, and the newly extended Justin Upton, having Kendrick as a fourth outfielder could prove to make that position group truly elite.
Kendrick can be what Chris Taylor was to the Dodgers. An underrated player who always finds ways to succeed, no matter where they play in the field. Kendrick had the best years of his career in Anaheim, even finishing 18th in MVP voting in 2014. It is time for the Halos to bring back their longtime second baseman, if not as a starter, as one of the best bench pieces in the MLB.