Nationals decline Kennedy's option

Nationals decline Kennedy's option

WASHINGTON -- Second baseman Adam Kennedy is now a free agent, as the Nationals declined his $2 million option for 2011 on Wednesday. Kennedy received a buyout of $500,000.

Kennedy, 34, had one of the worst seasons of his career, hitting .249 with three home runs and 34 RBIs in 2010.

"I'm all right with the decision," Kennedy said via phone. "It wasn't the right place for me to be playing. I didn't fit well into their plans. It's OK. I like [manager Jim] Riggleman. I like [general manager Mike] Rizzo. They are a good group of guys."

Kennedy started the season as the everyday second baseman, but found himself on the bench by May after Cristian Guzman went on a hot streak. Kennedy showed the Nationals that he couldn't come off the bench and be productive with the bat and glove.

"I have to get better at coming off the bench," Kennedy said. "I thought I did better at the role toward the end of the season. I was more comfortable with it toward the end."

But with the arrival of Danny Espinosa in September, Kennedy became expendable. While on the bench, he became a mentor for Espinosa and shortstop Ian Desmond.

Kennedy said he is not retiring and is willing to come off the bench next season.

With Kennedy gone, it means the second-base job belongs to Espinosa.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on twitter -- @washingnats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.