The Washington Nationals are trying to make their offense even better by trading for veteran second baseman Howie Kendrick.
In a move that came seemingly out of nowhere, the Washington Nationals have acquired veteran second basemen/left fielder Howie Kendrick from the Philadelphia Phillies. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports was the first to report the deal was imminent, and had the terms of the deal after it was completed.
In 39 games for the Phillies this season, Kendrick batted .340/.397/.454 with two home runs and 16 RBI. He was splitting his time between second base and left field, as had been the case for his past two years with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kendrick, 34, is a lifetime .290/.334/.418 hitter with 305 doubles, 97 home runs and 119 stolen bases.
This trade does not seem to fill a major need for the Nationals. They are set at second base with Daniel Murphy, but may consider fitting Kendrick into a platoon in left field with Adam Lind until Jayson Werth returns from a foot contusion and minor fracture. Werth could return in early August, but may need a few weeks in the minor leagues to get up to speed.
The Nationals are really not suffering from a lack of offense — they hit five home runs in a single inning on Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers. Washington has one of the best lineups in the National League and is in no danger of missing the playoffs. Kendrick becomes a solid bat to have around for the late innings of playoff games. He does not offer much value with the glove at this point of his career.
As for the Phillies side of the trade, international bonus money is never a bad thing to have when you are deep in a rebuild and spinning your wheels. McKenzie Mills is a 21-year-old left-hander who has been dominating Single-A this season. He is 12-2 with a 3.01 ERA and has struck out 118 in 104.2 innings while issuing only 22 walks. That seems like a high price to pay for a rental utility player, but the Nationals are all in to win a World Series before the inevitable departure of Bryce Harper after the 2018 season.