Phillies: Howie Kendrick’s trade value has nearly vanished

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 20: Howie Kendrick
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 20: Howie Kendrick /

While putting up impressive numbers when he has played this season for the Phillies, Howie Kendrick’s injuries have shattered his trade value.

The Phillies are the worst team in baseball this year by a margin of three wins. They sit a resounding 20.5 games back in the National League East with 21 games separating them from the Colorado Rockies, the second Wild Card team at this point. In a National League that has been quite poor this season, Philadelphia has been by far the worst.

When any team is this bad, trading off what tangible assets they have seems like a foregone conclusion. However, with a team this bad, there are few assets to find.

One trade asset many assumed the Phillies would have heading into this season is veteran utility man Howie Kendrick. The 33-year old Kendrick is on the second year of a two-year contract he signed with the Dodgers prior to the 2016 season. Philadelphia took on his $10 million salary this season in exchange for dumping major-league castoffs Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney.

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When Kendrick has played for Philadelphia this season, he has been one of their best hitters. He has a .361/.418/.492 line with 11 extra-base hits, 13 RBI, and eight stolen bases. Kendrick’s 1.2 bWAR is good for fourth on the team this season.

While Kendrick has been a good player when he is on the field, the keyword there is when. He has appeared in just 32 of the team’s 74 games because of injuries.

Kendrick missed six weeks due to an oblique injury suffered early on this season. He has not been in the starting lineup for five straight games including Monday due to an abdominal injury.

The team is forced to be touch-and-go with Kendrick because of his injury. Manager Pete Mackanin said Kendrick is available to pinch-hit, but that he has to be careful with the injury: [quote via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly]

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"“Hopefully he’s better tomorrow. If not, I’m hoping he can at least DH in Seattle (on Tuesday). He’s one of our best hitters and I want to get him in there. But I’ve got to be cautious.”"

If these injury woes continue to envelop Kendrick, no team will want to trade for him. Kendrick’s contract means anyone trading for him will be renting him out for the last two months of the season. However, there is no point in trading for him if he can barely play for you.

Even if Kendrick was able to stay on the field, at best the team would be getting a mid-tier prospect in exchange for him.

At this point, the Phillies would be lucky to get more than a fringe prospect with Kendrick’s injury woes.

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At this point, Kendrick has little to no trade value with all the injuries he’s dealt with. It will be hard for a team to want Kendrick when he has played in less than half of Philadelphia’s games this season. The only way he can rebuild his value is get back on the field as soon as possible and keep up his hot hitting. Then maybe a team will want to trade for Kendrick.