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MLB Trade Rumors: Arizona Diamondbacks To Release Aaron Hill, Chris Owings To Accommodate Free Agent Howie Kendrick

( [email protected] ) Jan 25, 2016 12:29 PM EST
The Arizona Diamondbacks have a number of players who have the ability to play at second base, and they reportedly would like to move Aaron Hill and Chris Owings in order to sign free agent Howie Kendrick. According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the D-backs are actively trying to move one of their second basemen to clear space for Kendrick, who last played for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
D-Backs to release Aaron Hill to make room for Howie Kendrick. (By Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons) By Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

The Arizona Diamondbacks have some players who have the ability to play at second base, and they reportedly would like to move Aaron Hill and Chris Owings to sign free agent Howie Kendrick.

According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the D-backs are actively trying to move one of their second basemen to clear space for Kendrick, who last played for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Hill, a 33-year-old veteran infielder, played 116 games for Arizona last year, 47 of them as a second baseman. He had less than stellar stats last season, posting a .230/.295/.345 slash line with six home runs as well as 39 RBIs. It was way back in 2009 when he had an impressive All-Star campaign for the Blue Jays in which he belted 36 homers, drove in 108 runs and captured some MVP votes.

The Diamondbacks would likely prefer to move Hill as he is due to make $12 million this season, which is the last year of his current contract. He will probably not attract many trade suitors due to his salary and plummeting performance. In the past five years, he has managed to deliver a mediocre .253/.311/.412 line while averaging 14 home runs and 59 RBIs.

Meanwhile, Owings got the most at bats of all D-Backs second basemen with 397 at-bats. The 24-year-old infielder, who also did stints at shortstop, hit .227 with four home runs, 43 RBIs and a career-best of 15 stolen bases in 515 at-bats. He committed four errors at second as well as five overall for a .990 fielding percentage.

As Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports observes, Arizona still favors Owings and believes that he will rebound from his weak dispatch. He did hit significantly better over 91 games in 2014, slashing .261/.300/.406 with six homers and 26 RBIs in a total of 332 plate appearances

The 32-year-old Kendrick is perhaps one of the most under-appreciated players in the MLB. He has consistently been contributing solid offense at his position, and he is not known for it. Kendrick owns a career .293/.333/.423 slash line along with putting up an OPS+ of more than 100 in each of the last five seasons.

Last season was business as usual for the former Dodgers second baseman as he batted .295/.336/.409 with nine homers and 54 RBIs. If Arizona could sign Kendrick, it would be a major upgrade for their current second basemen lineup. He has been a solid offensive performer while the D-backs received little offense from their second basemen last year.

Tags : MLB, arizona diamondbacks, trade rumors, Aaron Hill, Chris Owings, los angeles dodgers, Howie Kendrick