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Twins interested in Kyle Kendrick

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I don't get it.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

We all know a Twins pitcher when we see it. Kyle Kendrick, for better or worse, is exactly the type of pitcher you would expect the Minnesota front office to target. He doesn't strike anyone out (14% strikeout rate in 2014), his average fastball doesn't crack 90 mph, and he induces ground balls.

There's a difference between "interested" and "have put in an offer," and there's nothing wrong with having interest, but would he actually constitute an improvement? Minnesota's brain trust has made it clear which traits they want in a pitcher:

  • Reliable inning-eater: Kendrick notched 199 innings in 2014, but from 2007 - 2013 he averaged just 134 innings a year.
  • A pitcher to make the team better: In eight seasons, Kendrick has averaged less than 0.6 fWAR a year. His 2014 FIP of 4.57 was worse than any of the five Twins pitchers who started more than ten games in 2014: Phil Hughes, Ricky Nolasco, Kyle Gibson, Kevin Correia, and Yohan Pino.

There is nothing that Kendrick offers that makes him an obviously better choice for the 2015 rotation than the players already on the roster. He would be a good option if the team needed a number five, but the rotation - as we have stated many, many times - already has Phil Hughes, Ricky Nolasco, Kyle Gibson, Tommy Milone, Mike Pelfrey, Trevor May, and Alex Meyer as the front-runners. And Kendrick is a good bet to perform better than exactly zero of those pitchers.

This is not the Twins pitcher you're looking for. Let's hope this doesn't happen. Here: this is the Kendrick I'm interested in.