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Philadelphia Phillies Reach Agreement with Pitcher on a Multi-Year Contract: Fan’s Take
After general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. avoided arbitration with Kyle Kendrick last month by signing him to a one-year deal, he has now reached agreement with the five-year veteran right-hander on a two-year contract that is worth $7.5 million. The versatile swing-man is expected to once again see time in the bullpen this season and is listed as the sixth starter on the team's depth chart.
Due to a variety of circumstances, set-up man Ryan Madson was 'promoted' to the closer's role last season. Manager Charlie Manager then came to rely on lefty specialist Antonio Bastardo and minor league prospect Michael Stutes to help fill the set-up role that Madson had vacated.
It's not a stretch to believe that Kendrick could find himself in a set-up role this season if San Diego Padres free agent signee Chad Qualls, or whatever other main option Manuel uses, doesn't work out.
The 27-year-old has posted decent WHIP (walks + hits per innings pitched) numbers and has maintained positive mental approach to working out of the bullpen. That attitude could earn him a more prominent late-inning position in 2012.
It's also likely that 'KK' could once again find himself in a starting role this season. If any of the team's top five starters goes down he, along with Anaheim Angels free agent signee Joel Pineiro, are among the top contenders to take the mound every fifth day.
While pitching has been reclaiming its natural importance in the game during the post-performance enhancing drug era, there are still many teams who need to add decent arms to their staffs.
Beyond the three aces and former Boston Red Sox closer turned Phillies stopper Jonathan Papelbon, few Phillies pitchers could be considered untouchable. So, it's always possible that Kendrick could be seen as a valuable commodity when the trade deadline approaches later this summer.
Sean O'Brien's professional writing career started in 1990, when he first began working in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system. He also was a freelance sports writer for five years and is currently a Featured Contributor for Yahoo! Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and read his daily Sports Blog: Insight.
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