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The true value of Jason Kendall.

Last season he was everyone's whipping boy. That baton seems to have been passed to Esteban Loaiza for now, but Jason Kendall isn't out of the woods just yet.

While he managed to raise his batting average to .271 after a weak first half last season, he's currently sitting on .200, and not looking likely to hit a homer any time soon.

So why have people more or less stopped giving Kendall grief?

Dare I say it: intangibles.

From Scout.com:

C Jason Kendall presided over a 27-inning scoreless streak over the weekend. When Joe Blanton pitched eight shutout innings Friday, he didn't shake off Kendall once, and Barry Zito only did it a couple of times Saturday.

He can run. He can catch. He's a gamer. But the ability to bring a young, potentially wayward pitching staff through 27 scoreless innings - that goes beyond grit.

That's worth $7m a year.

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