How Matt Klentak got more than a sack of baseballs for the injured Howie Kendrick is beyond me, especially with the bruised hand suffered most recently.
Kendrick was a strong addition made by Klentak in the offseason costing the organization Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney, certainly nothing to cry over losing. If he’d been healthy and able to sustain the .340 batting average the Phillies may have an All-Star worth a package of premier prospects.
Unfortunately, two trips to the disabled list for separate injuries kept the big deal from coming to fruition, but the return for Kendrick is fairly impressive.
McKenzie Mills is a projectable left handed starter with an unknown ceiling and already rated as the organization’s #24 prospect. With 118 strikeouts in 18 starts Mills has the putaway pitches needed to win a ballgame. The lack of control will ultimately hurt him as he moves through the organization, but if he can reel it in the Phillies may have a number two or three starter.
For now he’s a back end starter that can flash impressive stuff from time to time.
Also coming in is the international signing money, which we’ve already noted as something that may help the Phillies even more down the line as their scouting in Latin America improves.
After the bruised hand it felt as if moving Kendrick would be impossible, but somehow Klentak got the job done. Mill’s has solid upside and considering the Nationals are only getting a rental player with an extensive injury background it’s a great move by Klentak.
It’s a trade that may pay off in big ways down the line, and the Phillies should be pleased with the return.