- The Washington Times - Friday, February 5, 2010

WASHINGTON | Free-agent second baseman Adam Kennedy and the Washington Nationals have agreed to a contract pending a physical, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Friday.

The person confirmed the agreement calls for Kennedy to make $1.25 million in 2010. There is also a $2 million club option for 2011.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity, because the contract had not yet been signed.

Kennedy’s deal was struck shortly after second baseman Orlando Hudson agreed to a $5 million, one-year contract with the Minnesota Twins.

Keeping up their busy offseason after losing 100 games for the second year in a row, the Nationals also agreed to a minor league deal with left-handed pitcher Shawn Estes, another person told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team had not yet made an announcement.

If Estes — who did not pitch in the majors at all last season or in 2007 — is added to Washington’s 40-man roster, he would get a $600,000, one-year contract and the chance to earn $400,000 in performance bonuses, the person said.

The 34-year-old Kennedy hit .289 with 11 homers and 63 RBIs for the Oakland Athletics last season, his 11th in the majors.

He provides a defensive upgrade at second base for the Nationals, who also have brought aboard catcher Ivan Rodriguez, starting pitcher Jason Marquis, closer Matt Capps and relievers Brian Bruney, Tyler Walker and Eddie Guardado.

Kennedy’s acquisition probably means Cristian Guzman will stay at shortstop, after there had been some discussion of moving him to second base.

Kennedy has a career .277 batting average, with 68 homers and 486 RBIs while playing for the Cardinals, Angels and Athletics. He might be best known for being the MVP of the 2002 American League championship series with the Angels.

Estes will turn 37 before the first official workout of Nationals spring training this month. He last was in the big leagues in 2008, when he went 2-3 with a 4.74 ERA in nine appearances with the San Diego Padres.

The lefty has appeared in a total of only 10 major league games over the past four seasons. For his career, Estes is 101-93 with a 4.71 ERA for seven clubs.


AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.

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