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.