12/01/11 3:29 PM EST
Kennedy agrees to one-year deal with Dodgers
Versatile veteran provides infield depth, clubhouse presence
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
In need of a versatile presence for their infield with the departure of Aaron Miles, the Dodgers feel Kennedy can provide a solid glove at three positions along with giving manager Don Mattingly a left-handed bat off the bench.
"Adam gives us infield depth and an experienced left-handed bat," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said in a statement. "He provides us with infield versatility at second and third base, and can play first as well."
Kennedy, who turns 36 on Jan. 10, is a .272 career hitter with a .326 OBP and .385 slugging percentage across 13 Major League seasons. He hit .234 in 114 games for Seattle in 2011.
Twice a .300 hitter with the Angels, Kennedy is best known for his three-homer epic in the 2002 American League Championship Series against the Twins.
Kennedy has Southern California roots and has been a travelin' man since leaving the Angels in 2007 for the Cardinals, his original organization, after seven seasons as the Halos' second baseman.
A multi-sport high school standout in Riverside, Calif., Kennedy signed with St. Louis as its first-round choice in the 1997 First-Year Player Draft out of Cal State Northridge, where he starred for three years and established a number of school batting records. He was shipped to his hometown Angels after making his Major League debut with the Cards in '99, playing 33 games.
Blossoming in Anaheim, an hour drive from his Riverside home, Kennedy played 156 games in his first full Major League season, batting .266 with 33 doubles, 11 triples and nine homers.
Kennedy was a pivotal performer in the club's 2002 World Series title run. He batted a career-high .312 that season and continued to pound away in October, hitting .340 in 15 postseason games with four homers and 10 RBIs.
His three-homer performance in Game 5 of the ALCS against Minnesota helped lift Los Angeles into its first World Series in franchise history. He hit at a .280 clip as the Angels claimed the Fall Classic over the Giants in seven games.
Signing with the Cardinals as a free agent after the 2006 season, with Howard Kendrick ready to assume his role at second base in Anaheim, Kennedy spent two seasons in St. Louis. He has played first and third base, as well as second, over the past three seasons for the Athletics, Nationals and Mariners.
The Dodgers acquired Mark Ellis as their new second baseman earlier this offseason, joining James Loney, Dee Gordon and Juan Uribe in the projected infield. Kennedy is highly regarded as a tough-minded, positive clubhouse presence.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.