9:00am: The two sides have finalized a one-year deal that promises Kendrick a $6.25MM guarantee, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (Twitter link). It’s the same guarantee that Steve Pearce received from the Red Sox on the heels of his own postseason heroics following the 2018 World Series.
8:47am: The Nationals are “closing in” on a deal to bring postseason hero Howie Kendrick back to the team, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post reports (via Twitter). It’ll be a one-year deal with a mutual option for the Reynolds Sports client once completed, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets, adding that Kendrick spurned guaranteed two-year offers to return to Washington.
Kendrick, 36, has been nothing short of outstanding with the Nats over the past two seasons, hitting a combined .331/.375/.541 with 21 homers, 37 doubles and a triple through 530 plate appearances. With Ryan Zimmerman, Matt Adams, Brian Dozier and Asdrubal Cabrera all entering free agency, the Nats have some uncertainty at first base and second base, making a reunion with Kendrick a rather sensible pursuit.
Of course, as good as Kendrick has been during the regular season, it was his postseason heroics that truly endeared him to fans and entrenched his place in franchise lore. Kendrick’s 10th-inning grand slam against the Dodgers in the NLDS put Washington up for good and sent them toward a date with the Cardinals in the NLCS, where Kendrick was named the series MVP after hitting .333/.412/.600 in a four-game sweep. And in the World Series, it was Kendrick’s remarkable Game 7, opposite-field shot off the foul pole that put the Nationals ahead by a 3-2 margin they’d never relinquish.
More to come.