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Kennedy leaves DC for Washington

Former Cardinals second baseman Brendan Ryan will have some (perhaps unwanted) company in Seattle.

Adam Kennedy, Ryan's predecessor in St. Louis manager Tony La Russa's dog house, has been signed by the Mariners to a minor league contract.

Ryan was expected to start at second base for Seattle when he was acquired in trade from the Cardinals for a minor league pitcher of no consequence. And since then, Ryan has been signed to a two-year, $1.75-million contract. But Kennedy, who played every infield position for the Nationals last season except shortstop, is a second sacker by trade. So Ryan could find himself in a utility role if he doesn't have a strong spring.

Kennedy, who turned 35 today, hit .229 with three homers in 135 games last season in Washington. He's a .275 career batter who spent two stints with St. Louis. They first, from his first round selection in the 1997 until 1999, ended when he was traded along with Kent Bottenfield to the Angels for Jim Edmonds.

He signed a three-year contract with St. Louis in 2007 but was released on the eve of spring training in 2009 -- even though the Cardinals had no bona fide major league second sacker to replace him -- in a dispute with La Russa over playing time.