By Chris Lingebach

The Nationals have reached an agreement to bring back versatile infielder/outfielder Howie Kendrick, reaching a reported team-friendly, two-year, $7 million deal.

Kendrick, 34, came to Washington via mid-summer trade with the Phillies, immediately serving as a lightning rod near the top of a Nationals lineup already loaded with hitters.

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Kendrick slashed .315/.368/.475 with nine home runs, 41 RBI and 12 stolen bases between between the two clubs in 2017. He recorded a .343 on-base percentage and slugged .494 for an .837 OPS in 52 games for the Nationals. A .291 career hitter, Kendrick helps return stability to a Nats bench that was rock-steady last season.

Kendrick’s new deal with the Nationals reportedly includes incentives which could max out at $9.25 million over two years.

Even in a free agency period moving at a dogged pace, Washington has managed to fulfill its needs while leaving open the opportunity to make a splash later as spring training approaches.

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