Kennedy Shown the Door in Favor of …?

Adam Kennedy was released by the Cardinals today so that they can play someone else at second base instead while eating Kennedy’s $4M salary. Who that replacement will be seems pretty muddled at this point. Going by various depth charts, possible contenders include Brendan Ryan, Brian Barden, Joe Thurston, Tyler Greene (for symmetry purposes I guess) Jarrett Hoffpauir and Skip Schumaker.

Kennedy hasn’t been much with the bat lately, but he’s still slick with the glove, clocking in around five runs above average these days. His projected wOBA is about in the .300 to .305 range, makes him worth about 17 runs below average with the bat. Toss in the 2.5 runs for second base and the five for his glove and you end up with a player that looks like he’s worth around a win over replacement. That’s just about exactly what his $4 million salary demanded for fair value.

Either way, Adam Kennedy is now out of a job and doesn’t come with the Type A penalty that Orlando Hudson does. It will be interesting to see what kind of market develops for his services given that he’s already being paid for this season by the Cardinals assuming no trade is worked out and he gets fully released. At that point, Kennedy probably shops around for the best chance to receive playing time and/or win a championship depending on his personal priorities because it’s highly unlikely any team would offer him more than the $4 million he would need to benefit out of the process.

Going back to the opening paragraph, what I really do not get is the releasing of Kennedy when the Cardinals do not have a clear cut player who is better. What was the point of doing this now unless they know they can work out a trade within the next 10 days?

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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

10 Responses to “Kennedy Shown the Door in Favor of …?”

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  1. vivaelpujols says:

    The Cardinals are going to Skip Schumaker try out for the position. He really has no place in there OF, especially with Rasmus coming up. I’m not sure how much there FO looks at sabermetrics, but if Skip can be anywhere near average at second then he could end up being a pretty valuable player.

    He is projected to be anywhere b/t 0 and -5 runs offensively. So if Skip is anywhere from -10 to -5 runs on defense, than he could end up being as valuable as Kennedy projects to be. Now he hasn’t played second since college (I think), so there is no telling if he will even be able to be -10 runs defensively. However, I gotta think that the FO thinks that he can be at least adequate defensively from what they have seen, or they probably wouldn’t have released Kennedy.

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    • Kincaid says:

      The Cardinals have a reputation of being fairly sabermetrically-minded, especially on defense, and they’ve consistently had good defensive teams for years. They actually employed Mitchel Lichtman, the guy who does UZR, as an analyst for a while, which is probably where a large part of that reputation comes from.

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  2. OsandRoayals says:

    I think that claimed that ST Louis has been trying to trade him and haven’t been able to and are now granting his unconditional release. He’s pretty much getting released because La Russa is not a fan of him. Sounds somewhat like Pie and Pinella from my perspective

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  3. cpebbles says:

    Mozeliak has already stated emphatically that they don’t have another 2B on the horizon and they’re going with their in-house options. The idea that they’ve already made the determination that he will be a competent defensive 2B is ridiculous, given that at the very most he’s spent a few months working on infielding drills, without the coaching staff even observing. Just a flat-out dumb move, and poorly timed at that.

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  4. Kincaid says:

    Kennedy has been the recipient of much vitriol among the Cardinal faithful in the past couple years, but even the majority of them seem to think that this makes no sense on the surface. There’s been a lot of speculation that there was some sort of off-the-field issue, sort of like when they released Spiezio last year, because that’s the only way anyone can get it to make sense. It’s pretty well known that TLR doesn’t like him, though, so maybe that’s the issue, but if that’s all it is, it seems like a dumb move.

    Skip hasn’t played middle infield since his freshman year at Loyola-Marymount. After that, he transferred to UC Santa Barbara and never played infield again, except for a brief stint in the minors where the Cards tried him at third and decided it wasn’t working after a few games. He’s even been a pitcher since he’s been a middle infielder (he was listed on UCSB’s depth chart as a closer at one point, and was used in the bullpen a few times there). I think expecting even passable defense from a 29 year old moving a few spots in the wrong direction on the defensive spectrum to play a position he hasn’t played competitively in 10 years, especially considering he’s been exclusively an outfielder all that time and has been average at best there, is more than a bit optimistic.

    LaRussa really likes to tinker with crazy ideas, though. The chances of Skip playing second are still pretty small. They used to work out So Taguchi on the middle infield when he wasn’t getting much playing time in the outfield too. So them giving Skip a look at second in pre-ST workouts probably doesn’t mean a whole lot until he actually starts seeing playing time there.

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  5. Eric says:

    Is there an easily accessible place I can find league average wOBA? It would make the individual numbers make a lot more sense.

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  6. tangotiger says:

    Lg avg wOBA = Lg avg OBP

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  7. erik says:

    It’s a weird move, but as far as his replacement, Thurston hit well in the minors the past three seasons and has a decent reputation as a defender. He could possibly be this year’s quad-A discovery. If he hits his CHONE projection (.322 wOBA) and is just average w/ the glove, he’s a 1.4 WAR player.

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  8. erik says:

    but all that said, eric yesterday made an excellent case for Ray Durham.

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