The Kansas City Royals signed catcher Jason Kendall to a two-year contract through the 2011 season. The Royals were able to attract the 35 year old to the promise of consistent playing time.
After the Royals let go Miguel Olivo and John Buck, the team has rookie Brayan Pena, and really no one else ready to step in as a major league catcher. So, the Royals get Kendall. He is a career .290 hitter with 376 doubles, 177 stolen bases and a .369 on-base percentage.
He’s played 14 Major League seasons with the Pirates (1996-2004), A’s (2005-07), Cubs (2007) and Brewers (2008-09). He was selected to the National League All-Star squad in 1996, 1998 and 2000 and has appeared in postseason play with the A’s (2006), Cubs (2007) and Brewers (2008).
Kendall has drawn 684 walks and struck out just 641 times in his career, joining Gary Sheffield, Chipper Jones, Brian Giles, Todd Helton and Albert Pujols as one of six active players to record more walks than strikeouts with at least 500 walks in his career.
Kendall is a perfect fit for a team that lacks depth behind the plater. He is the only catcher in the Majors to make at least 130 starts in each of the last eight seasons and currently ranks 10th on the all-time list in games caught (1,907) and fifth in games started behind the plate (1,872).