Kendrick has gone 3-for-10 with a walk and an RBI through his first five Grapefruit League games entering play Tuesday. The Nationals have used Kendrick at designated hitter, first base and second base this spring, which essentially aligns with what manager Dave Martinez had laid out for the veteran earlier this spring. Per Jessica Camerato of MLB.com, Martinez doesn't plan to expose Kendrick to third base until late in spring training, as the Nationals plan to have prospect Carter Kieboom and Asdrubal Cabrera compete for the top job at that position throughout camp. Kendrick's age and injury history means the Nationals won't ask him to be an everyday player on the right side of the infield, but his elite contact skills should make him a fixture in the lineup versus lefties and allow him to see occasional work against righties, too. The 36-year-old was instrumental in the Nationals' run to the World Series last season, slashing .344/.395/.572 with 17 home runs in 370 plate appearances.
Kendrick will remain with the Nationals on a one-year, $6.25 million deal, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. The deal also includes a mutual option for 2021, per Jamal Collier of MLB.com. The 36-year-old enjoyed a renaissance for the World Series winners last season, hitting .344/.395/.572 (good for a career-high 146 wRC+) over 370 plate appearances. Statcast doesn't think he overachieved at all, giving him a .622 expected slugging percentage on the back of an excellent 48.3 percent hard-hit rate. His fantasy value in 2020 will depend in large part on how many opportunities he gets, but he seems to be a good bet to be quite productive when available.
Kendrick is not in the lineup for Game 3 of the World Series against the Astros on Friday. Kendrick was named the NLCS MVP and started each of the first two games of the World Series when Washington had the DH available in an AL park, going 2-for-9 with an RBI. Asdrubal Cabrera gets the nod at second base in his place.
Kendrick is expected to slot in as the designated hitter for the first two games of the World Series against the Astros, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports. With Kendrick set to serve as the designated hitter for Game 1 and 2, Asdrubal Cabrera and Brian Dozier are the top two candidates to see time at the keystone. Kendrick was named the NLCS MVP and is 11-for-38 with a home run, nine RBI and six runs scored through 10 postseason contests.
Kendrick went 1-for-5 with a grand slam in Wednesday's 7-3 extra-inning victory over the Dodgers in Game 5 of the National League Division Series. Kendrick made his lone hit one to remember, crushing a Joe Kelly offering 410 feet to center field in the 10th inning to complete a Washington comeback and send the Nationals to the National League Championship Series. It was Kendrick's only extra-base hit of the series, but the 36-year-old demonstrated during the regular season he still has plenty of juice in his bat by slashing .344/.395/.572 with 17 home runs in 334 at-bats.