The Phillies have traded Howie Kendrick and cash to the Nationals for left-handed prospect McKenzie Mills and international bonus pool space, as first reported by FOX’s Ken Rosenthal. The deal was announced by the clubs.
Philadelphia has had a busy week, first shipping reliever Pat Neshek to the Rockies for three prospects before completing the Kendrick deal. The club also completed a deal sending starter Jeremy Hellickson to the Orioles on Friday night.
Kendrick, 34, has posted a strong .340/.397/.454 line with two homers in 39 games for the Phillies this year despite missing significant time due to a hamstring strain and a strained oblique. He has seen time at second base, left field and first base for Philadelphia, so he will likely serve as a bench option for Washington who can play left field with Jayson Werth, Chris Heisey and Ryan Raburn currently on the disabled list and see time in the infield for the season’s final two months.
Kendrick is in the second season of a two-year, $20 million deal, meaning he’s a pure rental for the first-place Nats. Philadelphia will pay some of the money remaining on his contract this year.
Mills, 21, was Washington’s 18th-round pick in the 2014 draft and is now ranked by MLB.com as the 24th-best prospect in the Phillies system. He has spent the year at Single-A Hagerstown and owns a 3.01 ERA and 10.1 K/9 in 104.2 innings over 18 starts.
Mills has seen his stock rise this season after struggling through his first three years of pro ball, so Philadelphia will hope that they are catching a young pitcher who will continue to improve as he matures. He could reach the majors as a back-end starter, though he’s obviously a few years away from the bigs.