The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a two-year contract with infielder/outfielder Howie Kendrick on Thursday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Kendrick, 34, returns to Washington after hitting .293 with eight doubles, two triples, seven home runs, 25 RBI, 11 walks and 24 runs scored in 52 games for the Nationals. He was acquired from Philadelphia on July 28, just days before the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline. He hit .315 with a .368 on-base percentage and a .475 slugging percentage in 91 games between the two National League East clubs.
Kendrick made 39 starts for the Nationals in 2017, appearing in left field (30 GS), right field (3 GS), second base (5 GS), and first base (1 GS) while not being charged with an error along the way. His contributions off the bench provided Washington with even more versatility, as he went 5-for-14 (.357) with two doubles, two RBI, one walk and three runs scored as a pinch hitter.
Kendrick made his mark with his new club right off the bat, going 10-for-21 (.476) with two doubles, a home run and two RBI in his first six games with the Nationals, including matching a career high with five hits on Aug. 1 at Miami. On Aug. 13 against San Francisco, he clubbed his first career grand slam and third career walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to give Washington the 6-2 win. Just days later, he hit his 100th career home run, Aug. 15 vs. Los Angeles (AL) as a part of his seventh career multi-home run game and first since April 18, 2014 at Detroit.
A veteran of 12 Major League seasons, Kendrick is a career .291 hitter with a .334 on-base percentage and a .421 slugging percentage in 1,435 career games. No stranger to the Postseason, Kendrick has appeared in 33 Postseason games, advancing as far as the League Championship Series in 2009 and 2016. He spent the first nine seasons (2006-14) of his career with the Los Angeles Angels before joining the Los Angeles Dodgers for two seasons (2015-16). The 2017 season was his first with the Philadelphia Phillies.
With the signing of Kendrick, the Nationals now have 40 players on their 40-man roster.