[UPDATE AT 9:32 A.M.: Kennedy will make $1.25 million this year, with a $2 million option for 2011.]
Losers to the Twins in the Orlando Hudson sweepstakes, the Nationals wasted little time enacting their backup plan. Washington came to terms late last night with veteran second baseman Adam Kennedy on a one-year contract, club sources confirmed this morning.
Kennedy, 34, who hit .289 with 11 homers and 63 RBI last season for the Athletics, still must pass a physical before the deal is completed. Terms aren't immediately known, but it won't match the $5 million contract Hudson received from Minnesota.
Kennedy's signing sets in motion a chain of events that will affect several Washington infielders. Cristian Guzman will remain at shortstop in the end, this after the club initially told the veteran he might be asked to move to second base this season. Ian Desmond, who impressed some team officials during his big-league debut last September, now is likely to open 2010 at Class AAA Syracuse, where he'll be asked to refine his skills in an attempt to display more consistency.
Once the signing is official, the Nats also will need to remove someone from their 40-man roster.
A veteran of 11 big-league seasons with the Angels, Cardinals and A's, Kennedy is a career .277 hitter. After tailing off in 2007-08 in St. Louis, he enjoyed a bounce-back season in Oakland, producing his highest home run total in six years, his highest RBI total in nine years and his highest slugging percentage (.410) in seven years.
Kennedy has postseason experience with the Angels, winning the 2002 World Series and playing in the 2005 ALCS. He was MVP of the 2002 ALCS after hitting .357 with three homers and five RBI. Though he's played 1,211 of his 1,356 career games at second base, he hasn't played more than 100 games at the position in a single season since 2006.