Kendall, 33, provided an offensive boost at catcher after the Cubs acquired him from Oakland in a July trade for Rob Bowen and Jerry Blevins. Kendall batted .270 with a .362 on-base percentage in 57 games for the Cubs. He hit a combined .242 with three homers in 41 RBIs in 137 games for the A's and Cubs.
Kendall's status with Chicago is uncertain in part because the Cubs have a highly regarded youngster in Geovany Soto, a 24-year-old rookie who hit .389 with three homers and eight RBIs in 54 at bats with the Cubs after his callup from the Minor Leagues this year. The Cubs may decide to go with Soto as the regular catcher next season, or try to bring back Kendall and ease Soto into full-time duty.
Kendall made $13 million last season, the final year of the six-year, $60 million contract he signed with the Pirates before the 2002 season.
Kendall is the second Cub to file for free agency, following right-hander Kerry Wood, who filed on Monday.
Jim Molony is a writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.