Phillies: Most impactful deadline deals of the decade
Howie Kendrick came to the Phillies in November 2016 for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney. Ruf was a minor league hero who hit monster home runs, but never turned into the big league slugger everyone wanted him to be. Sweeney went back to the Dodgers after having come over to Philadelphia in the Utley trade.
Kendrick’s role on the 2017 club was to be a leader who could provide some offense. He was known as a guy who could consistently hit in the .290’s for Los Angeles prior to the trade, and the Phillies would certainly welcome that given how poor their offense was the season before.
Starting in left field Kendrick came out of the gate on fire for Philadelphia, hitting .333 in his first 10 games. An injury would knock him out for about six weeks in late April and nearly all of May. He’d hit a remarkable .360, nearly all singles, in the month of June, making him a prime trade candidate.
Unfortunately, another injury took him out for nearly all of July and severely diminished his trade value. After playing just six games in the month of July and 39 total for the Phillies, Kendrick was traded to the Nationals for pitcher McKenzie Mills.
Unranked in the Nationals farm system, Mills was having a terrific season in Single-A before the trade, going 12-2 with a 3.01 ERA and 118 strikeouts. He’d be ranked among the Phillies top-30 prospects going into the 2018 season, but he’d spend only a couple of months with the club.
Matt Klentak would flip Mills to Miami for power-hitter Justin Bour in an August move to boost the bench. Unfortunately, Bour would be hurt and hit only one home run in his lackluster Phillies career.