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Phillies trade Howie Kendrick to the Nationals

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The Phillies traded infielder/outfielder Howie Kendrick to the Nationals in exchange for minor league left-hander McKenzie Mills and international amateur signing bonus pool space, per a team announcement. The Nationals will also receive cash in the deal.

Kendrick, 34, was halfway through his first season in Philadelphia. When healthy, he showed promise, exhibiting a .340/.397/.454 batting line with 11 extra-base hits, eight stolen bases and an .851 OPS through 156 PA in 2017. It hasn’t been the smoothest run for the veteran infielder/outfielder, however, as he sustained a strained oblique muscle in early April and returned from the 10-day disabled list last week after rehabbing a right hamstring strain. He was benched during Friday’s series opener against the Braves after getting plunked on his left hand during Wednesday’s 9-0 shutout over the Astros.

The deal still appears to be a win-win for both Kendrick and the Phillies, with the former getting a potential shot at the playoffs and the latter shedding some infield/outfield depth in exchange for a solid lefty prospect. Mills, 21, was ranked No. 18 in the Nationals’ system this season and has impressed during his first Single-A run in 2017. He went 12-2 in 18 starts for Single-A Hagerstown and delivered a pristine 3.01 ERA, 1.9 BB/9 and 10.1 SO/9 through 104 2/3 innings this season. While he reportedly profiles as a back-end starter, he’s still developing a well-rounded pitch repertoire and recent struggles in short-season ball suggest that his command could use some refinement before he reaches the majors.

Report: A’s trying to finish deal for Jeurys Familia

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The Athletics appear to be closing in on a deal for Mets’ right-hander Jeurys Familia, according to reports from ESPN’s Buster Olney. Nothing has been finalized just yet, however, as the Mets confirmed that they would not be announcing a trade tonight and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic points out that other teams may still be in the mix for Familia’s services. It’s not clear what the A’s would be giving up in any potential deal for the reliever.

Familia, 28, has been pitching well this season. He currently sports a 2.88 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 40 2/3 innings — across-the-board improvements from his last run with the Mets in 2017 — and has racked up 17 saves to boot. He’s due another $3 million for the remainder of 2018, and Rosenthal adds that the club is willing to throw some cash in the deal in order to guarantee a better return for the closer.

While the A’s have one of the better bullpens in the American League, sitting seventh-best with a 3.50 ERA and 2.8 fWAR, they still have a ways to go in order to overtake the Mariners and Astros for a postseason berth by season’s end. Familia’s contract expires at the end of the year, but he should provide enough short-term value to give the A’s the boost they need.