Dodgers second baseman/outfielder Howie Kendrick was reported earlier this week to be desirous of a trade. His desires have been fulfilled: Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that Kendrick has been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney.
Kendrick batted .255/.326/.356 with eight homers and 40 RBI in 2016 while playing more outfield than second base, his traditional position. He also played some first and third. He was said to be frustrated with his, more or less, utility role. Obliging him with a trade to Philly reunites him with Matt Klentak, the Philly GM who was the Angels’ assistant GM when Kendrick played in Anaheim.
As for Ruf, the once-promising prospect some called “Babe Ruf” — more jokingly so as time went on — was never able to get it together in Philly. A wrist injury didn’t help him. He had a meager .573 OPS in 43 big league games last season. Sweeney was drafted by the Dodgers back in 2012 and was sent to Philly last year in the Chase Utley deal. He has played second, third and the outfield and posted a .644 OPS in Triple-A last season.
This deal seems like a “we like you Howie, so we’ll give you what you want” sort of thing from the Dodgers’ perspective. For Philly, a veteran who can provide an upgrade at second base — assuming the Phillies, as rumored, try to deal Cesar Hernandez — and who can fill in in the outfield corners if need be. UPDATE: Never mind, Kendick will be the everyday left fielder.