LOS ANGELES -- Howie Kendrick 's new two-year, $20 million contract includes half of the money deferred, the second such deal with deferred money for the Dodgers this offseason.
Kendrick's salary in each season of the deal is technically $10 million, but half each season is deferred. The second baseman will receive payments of $5 million on Dec. 15 in both 2018 and 2019, per the Associated Press.
This is the second contract signed by the Dodgers this winter that included deferred money, with half of the potential $48 million due to pitcher Scott Kazmir paid out in the three years after his three-year contract is up.
The Dodgers have $207.03 million committed to 25 players in 2016, and over $221 million when counting money exchanged in trades as well as this year's portion of Kenta Maeda's posting fee. The team has nearly $152 million committed to 2017 as well.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the club isn't having cash flow issues, but rather the deferred money was a product of contract talks.
"There are a lot of negotiating points in contract discussions. All have implications in terms of total value. We had a lot of conversations going through it with what worked for both sides," Friedman explained. "Any time you spread out money it's helpful just in terms of when looking at commitments over a long period of time. It's reflected in total value."
That deferrals the total value of the contract, in the eyes of Major League Baseball to $19.245 million, per Jon Heyman.
Whether Kendrick's deal is valued at $19 million or $20 million, it is certainly not the type of contract he was expecting. A free agent for the first time, Kendrick's market was hurt by the draft pick loss attached to his availability, after he declined the Dodgers' qualifying offer of one-year, $15.8 million in November.
Kendrick expressed frustration at his offseason with Bob Nightengale of USA Today:
"When you get to free agency, you’re supposed to be a free agent,’’ Kendrick said. "Now, with this qualifying offer, teams are trying to decide: Do I make my major league team better or minor-league system better?
"It forces teams to make a choice, and it’s hurting everybody. There are a lot of good players out there who can help teams.
"It’s such a strange market.’’