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Kendrick not fazed by popularity in trade rumors

PEORIA, Ariz. -- It seemed like a near certainty that second baseman Howie Kendrick would be traded before the 2014 season, until Spring Training arrived and he still wasn't.

His name was frequently in rumors leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline last season, then again in the early stages of the offseason as the Angels looked to acquire cost-controlled starting pitching -- the kind they ultimately got by instead dealing Mark Trumbo to the D-backs on Dec. 10.

"When I was younger, it affected me a lot more, because you're [potentially] going somewhere new and you don't know what to expect," Kendrick said. "Now, being a little older, I've got a lot more playing time under my belt, I don't even worry about those things because I know that I can't control them.

"I've been with the Angels, I love the Angels, I grew up here, and this will always be home. But sometimes trades happen. Whether that's on the business side or needing to acquire something that's beneficial to the team, I don't hold that against anybody because that's part of the game."

Even though you agreed to an extension 10 months before free agency just to stay with the Angels?

"Yeah, that's fine," said Kendrick, who signed a four-year, $33.5 million contract with limited no-trade protection in January 2012. "I wasn't thinking about whether or not I'm going to get traded when I signed that extension. That's not part of my thought process and still isn't. If a trade happens, it happens. All I can control is how I play the game."

Kendrick, taken in the 10th round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, is approaching his ninth season with the Angels and coming off a year that was arguably his best, with a .297/.335/.439 slash line despite missing five weeks with a sprained left knee down the stretch.

The 30-year-old is no stranger to seeing his name in rumors, a frequent theme as he made his way up the system. Heck, he was one of the guys who could've gone to the Marlins when the Angels were trying to acquire Miguel Cabrera seven years ago.

Kendrick has an interesting way of looking at all that.

"Your name popping up is not a bad thing," he said. "Obviously other teams see a lot of value in you whenever they're looking to acquire you in a trade. ... I work hard, I get prepared. My biggest thing is to try to help the team out and to help the team win and be a part of this team, and a part of what we're trying to do as a team. Trades are something that come up, but you can't control it as a player."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez.
Read More: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Howie Kendrick