The Phillies on Sunday agreed to a two-year, $7.5 million extension with right-hander Kyle Kendrick, adding payroll certainty through 2013.
Kendrick, 27, avoided arbitration with the club in January and signed a $3.585 million deal through 2012. According to the club, his new deal, set to run through next season, includes performance bonuses. Kendrick, who is beginning his sixth season with the Phillies, went 8-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 34 games, including 15 starts, and is expected to earn starter innings this spring as the club decides on a fifth starter. Kendrick will have another year of arbitration eligibility in 2014 before becoming a free agent in 2015.
Beerleaguer: Readers are already wondering whether this is a prelude to another deal, since cost certainty would be a greater incentive for a smaller club, perhaps one positioned to ride Kendrick for an entire season in a starting rotation. It's a good bet that Kendrick's value will never be higher. We know they're trying to unload payroll. We know they've shopped Joe Blanton. We've already read how the Phillies were the "mystery team" for A.J. Burnett and have kept the lines of communication open with Roy Oswalt, suggesting the flame for a fourth, front-line starter still burns. And why not? The embarassment of pitching riches led to a franchise-record 102 wins last season.