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Thursday Bantering: Howie Kendrick rumors

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Nicholson-Smith tells us that the Blue Jays have interest in Howie Kendrick:

Howie Kendrick is definitely worth monitoring, as the Blue Jays have placed multiple calls on his availability this year. He'd be a major upgrade for the Blue Jays (OPS+ of 116 since 2011) and he's set to earn just $9.5 million in 2015 before hitting free agency. The Angels are willing to listen on Kendrick, who can block trades to four unknown teams. Their calls suggest genuine interest, but it's worth keeping in mind that the Blue Jays call on a lot of players this time of year.

Alex calls on everyone, I'm sure he has multiple calls on everyone. I'd love to have him. He's averaged a 4.0 WAR over the last 4 years. He's averaged a 5.6 UZR/150 over his career so he fits the bill of giving us good defense, not Goins level defense, but then Howie can hit the ball too.

I am getting the feeling that we'll be hearing lots of rumors over the next little while. We always say that, with Alex, if you hear hear the rumor, that it isn't true. But this one makes too much sense to ignore.

Jim Callis says that Dalton Pompey is the "best speedster in Arizona":

But none of them is the best speed-oriented player in the league. That distinction belongs to Mesa Solar Sox centre fielder Dalton Pompey, a Blue Jays prospect. He may not be as quick as Quinn, who is Jonathan Mayo's choice as the best speedster in Arizona, but Pompey has a broader base of tools and skills.

Keith Law posted his "Buyer's Guide" to outfielders (subscription required).

Under best values, he listed Colby Rasmus and Melky Cabrera, as well as Chris Young. For Colby he said:

He's one of the youngest free agents this year, and there's no physical reason he can't be a 4-WAR player again. It's mechanical, it's mental, maybe it's parental, but he still has the ability for a team with the ability to take on the risk that he's as punchless as he was in 2014.

For Melky:

We've seen some evidence that teams are wary of players with histories of PED use and suspensions, even though some of those players have performed well after returning and, in theory, are playing "clean." If that's true in Cabrera's case, it might make him a good target for a team looking for a buy-low guy on a short-term deal, as he shows solid contact rates without great power and probably will be limited to short-duration offers. The Blue Jays' making him a qualifying offer hurts his market, and he might have to return to Toronto for a year or wait for a team that already has given up a pick to decide he's worth giving up a second- or third-rounder too.

I kind of doubt Melky will have to 'return to Toronto'. I think someone will decide he's worth having giving up a draft pick to get, but then, him coming back to us on a one-year deal would be the best case scenario for the Jays.

Law's outfielder worst values are Nelson Cruz, Alex Rios and Yasmani Tomas.

Will Leitch at Sports On Earth ranks the Most Tortured Fans in Baseball and the Blue Jays fans only rank 14th. I don't know....I feel like we should be top 5 at least.

14. Toronto Blue Jays. Last title: 1993. World Series appearances: 2. Titles: 2. Now that the Royals have broken their streak, the Blue Jays have the longest current postseason drought in the four major North American sports. That they are only 14 in these rankings is proof of just how difficult it is to do these rankings every year, with so many tortured teams. Everyone has a claim to the throne.