Just before the Mets made a surprising move to acquire AJ Ramos from Miami, the Nationals made a splash this evening by acquiring utility player Howie Kendrick from the Phillies for minor league pitcher McKenzie Mills and international bonus money.
A short time later, the Phillies dealt another one of their significant pieces — pitcher Jeremy Hellickson — to Baltimore, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. In exchange, the Phillies will receive right-hander Garrett Cleavinger and left fielder Hyun Soo Kim.
Kendrick had two significant DL stints earlier this season, but has been stellar when on the field. Through 156 plate appearances, Kendrick has slashed .340/.397/.454 with two homers, eight doubles, a triple, and eight stolen bases.
The 34 year-old has played significant time at second base, left field, first base, and third base through his 12-year career. Until a down season last year with the Dodgers, Kendrick had been a consistently above average hitter. He has a .290/.334/.418 career line and a 106 wRC+. He will provide a significant boost to a Nationals offense that is already second in baseball in runs scored.
Hellickson, 30, is having a mediocre season with Philadelphia. He is 6-5 with a 4.73 ERA over 112.1 innings pitched. Once a budding star in Tampa Bay, Hellickson has become a mostly below average journeyman. However, he had a fine season in Philadelphia in 2016, his best year since his stint with the Rays, posting a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts. While Baltimore is still selling, Rosenthal reports, they are just looking to “get through the season.”