8 Halloween-scary trades that still haunt Phillies fans
By Matt Rappa
6. Traded INF/OF Howie Kendrick and cash considerations to the Washington Nationals for LHP McKenzie Mills and international amateur signing bonus pool space.
July 28, 2017
In hindsight, the Phillies never intended veteran Howie Kendrick to be a fixture on the Phillies roster. They acquired him to be their everyday left fielder, despite him spending most of his career at second base.
“There may not be a more professional hitter than Howie Kendrick,” then-Phillies general manager Matt Klentak told reporters shortly after they had acquired Kendrick from the Los Angeles Dodgers in November 2016 in exchange for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney. “He’s the definition of a professional hitter. He’s been steady his entire career. He’s one of the hardest-working guys in the league, and he can hit anywhere in the lineup and be productive.”
Kendrick shined in 39 games donning the red pinstripes uniform, slashing .340/.397/.454. The Phillies chose to take advantage of Kendrick’s above-average and try to replenish their farm system by trading him to the Washington Nationals ahead of the July 2017 deadline.
Unfortunately, the left-handed pitcher McKenzie Mills never amounted to much, and the Phillies actually traded him to the Miami Marlins in August 2018 in exchange for first baseman Justin Bour.
Kendrick has played for the Nationals ever since; in four seasons, he slashed a combined .316/.361/.511 with 49 doubles, 30 home runs, and 113 RBI across 238 games. Not to mention, he produced seven hits and three RBI in the 2019 World Series against the Houston Astros. One of those hits was a clutch, go-ahead home run that gave the Nationals the lead in Game 7.
The 37-year-old, 15-year veteran now enters free agency. There is no saying he will ever play again, although it is safe to say the Phillies probably could have used Kendrick on their active roster since trading him away in 2017.