What is rotation depth worth to the Phillies? Apparently, $3.6 million. That's the salary Ruben Amaro Jr. and Co. will pay Kyle Kendrick this year as the two sides avoided arbitration and reached an agreement on a one-year, $3.585 million contract.
Kendrick is likely to enter the season as a long man in the bullpen, provided that Joe Blanton, Vance Worley, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels remain healthy through spring training.
The righthander provided valuable depth last season as Blanton and Roy Oswalt battled injuries throughout the season. Kendrick went 8-6 with a 3.22 ERA, 4.6 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9 in 34 outings, including 15 starts.
In the end, it isn't a crippling price to pay for a durable, experienced arm who can provide insurance at the back end of the rotation. The Phillies could have used that money to sign a veteran reliever like Octavio Dotel or Jon Rauch, but that's about it. Kendrick played a valuable role last season as Joe Blanton and Roy Oswalt battled injuries throughout the campaign. Clearly, the Phillies liked the insurance Kendrick provided them.