- Mark Saxon, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Los Angeles Angels made a major splash in free agency at the winter meetings, but Saturday they locked up one of their own.
The team and second baseman Howie Kendrick have reached agreement on a four-year contract extension worth $33.5 million, according to multiple reports.
Kendrick, 28, was coming off his finest major league season, in which he batted .285 with 18 home runs and a .464 slugging percentage and made the American League All-Star team.
Kendrick was going into his final season of arbitration eligibility, so the deal buys out three seasons of his free agency.
Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto, who signed slugger Albert Pujols and ace left-hander C.J. Wilson for more than $320 million combined earlier this winter, has also opened preliminary discussions with Kendrick's double-play partner, Erick Aybar, on a multiyear extension.
Kendrick was one of the Angels' brightest prospects through the minor leagues, where he batted .360, but his progress in the majors was far from linear. The team demoted him to Triple-A midway through the 2009 season.
Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
4hAnthony Witrado, Special to ESPN.com
10hAnthony Witrado, Special to ESPN.com