The Mariners continued their expected bargain shopping today by signing infielder Adam Kennedy to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.

Kennedy, who turned 35 today, is coming off a poor season with the Nationals where he hit .249/.327/.327 with only three home runs. Although, he’s only one season removed from his last productive season, where in 2009 he hit .289/.348/.48 with 11 homers.

He does provide above-average defense at second base, so even when the stick isn’t working, he’s not a complete black hole on the roster.

It’s difficult to gauge how a player will progress as his career reaches the mid 30’s. Many players start to regress, as Kennedy did in 2010, but there’s also a chance that last season was an off year.

This is a no-risk move with some upside, of course.

If Kennedy doesn’t show anything in spring training, the Mariners can dump him for nothing. If Dustin Ackley doesn’t break camp with the team, though, and Jack Wilson gets hurt again, Kennedy is a nice low-cost veteran to plug the second base hole allowing Brendan Ryan slides over to shortstop.

This also means there is no situation that would see either Chone Figgins playing second base, or Josh Wilson playing every day. Both of those things are a net plus for the team.

It’s never a bad thing to have a log jam when it costs you nothing.

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