Yankees, Blue Jays inquire on Kendrick, but Angels may keep him
The Angels have done a lot already this winter but they are interested in acquiring one more starting pitcher.
PHOENIX -- The Angels aren't necessarily looking to trade Howie Kendrick or David Freese, but they are getting calls on both of them, and if they can acquire the right pitcher for either, they'd still consider it.
The Yankees and Blue Jays are among teams that have called about Kendrick, who is believed to have received more interest than Freese. The Nats and A's are among other teams that may address second base.
The Yankees have long liked Kendrick, a noted Yankee killer, and have issues at second base, shortstop and third base. But at present the Angels, who have already done a lot of work this winter, acquiring pitching prospect Nick Tropeano and lefty reliever Cesar Ramos, still believe they are more likely than not to hold onto Kendrick.
The only reason they would consider trading Kendrick at all is they have Gordon Beckham, who they acquired last summer from the White Sox and could play the position. They are also thought to be on the verge of signing Cuban infielder Roberto Baldoquin, with a good arm, hands and hitting abilities, though that deal isn't yet official. Scouts believe he could play in the big leagues at some point in 2015.
The Angels won more games than anyone in the regular season, but with ace Garrett Richards out at the end, along with Tyler Skaggs, a thing rotation caught up with them in Game 3 of the ALCS matchup with the Royals. They believe Tropeano could possibly take the fifth starters' spot. He was 9-5 with a 3.03 ERA at triple-A Oklahoma City.
The Angels have been rumored to possibly try to make a big play for one of the big free-agent pitchers in one of those quiet under-the-radar moves a la their Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton signings, but an Angels person characterized that possibility as not likely. Owner Arte Moreno has made a point of staying below the luxury-tax threshhold, and it might be tough to fit another big signing under the threshhold.