Earlier tonight the Washington Nationals acquired veteran utility player Howie Kendrick and cash via a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies will be receiving international cash as well as pitching prospect Mckenzie Mills.
Washington currently has six players on the disabled list: outfielders Michael Taylor, Jayson Werth, Brian Goodwin, Chris Heisey, Ryan Raburn, and Adam Lind are all on the shelf. The Nationals are in dire need for help in the outfield. Kendrick will be able to get starts in left field as well as provide a veteran presence off the bench down the stretch when everyone is healthy. Washington will only be paying $187k for Kendrick.
Kendrick, who is 34 years old, and has not had the healthiest season. He has been sidelined with injuries since mid-April, but when Kendrick is healthy he provides a threat at the plate. In 156 plate appearances this season, he slashed a eye-popping .340/.397/.454 with two home runs, eight doubles, one triple, and eight steals in 11 attempts. Kendrick, who was once a pure second baseman, became a utility player when he played for the Los Angles Dodgers in 2016. He saw some time in left field while playing for the Phillies, but he’s also played second, third and first base, as well as left field. Kendrick is earning $10 million this year, and will be a free agent after the 2017 season.
The Phillies are continuing their rebuild this year, and receiving pitching prospect Mckenzie Mills from the Nationals will certainly help that initiative. Mckenzie, who is currently pitching in Single-A ball, holds a 12-2 record and has a 10.1 K/9 and has a 35% ground ball percentage. The 21-year old prospect throws a fast ball, curveball, slider, and change up.
As the Nationals are the sure favorites to win the National League East, adding a veteran presence to their bench will certainly help them in their quest for the postseason.