Dodgers Rumors: Howie Kendrick to Phillies For Ruf and Sweeney
The Dodgers announced today that they have traded INF/OF Howie Kendrick to the Phillies for Darnell Sweeney and Darin Ruf
It had become apparent of over the last week that a trade was likely after reports surfaced that Kendrick had felt disenfranchised with his with his role in 2016.
Kendrick’s discontent certainly comes as something of a surprise as it was reported a the time of his signing this past off-season that Kendrick was informed he would be utilized in a number of roles this season. There were also reports that Kendrick had grown to prefer playing the outfield over has natural position at 2b.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 8, 2016
In all, over two seasons with the team, Kendrick compiled a .295/.336/.409 slash line with 9 homeruns good for a 108 OPS+. However, that slightly above average offensive production was only barely able to overcome Kendrick’s short comings on defense.
Once considered a strong defender at 2b, Kendrick’s glove took a big step back in 2015 with DRS crediting him as 15 runs below average. Kendrick’s flexibility and reliability however, made him a solid player for the Dodgers.
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In return, the team will receive INF Darnell Sweeney and 1b/OF Darin Ruf. Sweeney, recently a top prospect in the teams’ system is a switch hitting second baseman.
Sweeney in his first year in the majors managed just a .176/.286/.353 slash line with 3 homeruns in 98 plate appearances with the Phillies. Ruf, once considered the Phillies first baseman of the future, never quite put it together with the Phillies.
In parts of 5 seasons with the Phillies, Ruf compiled a .245/.323/.445 slash line with 32 homeruns.
There is a little bit of pop there and he has had some success against left handed pitching so Ruf may get a chance to compete for a bench spot in Spring Training.
From the outside this transaction appears to be a simple reallocation of resources. The Dodgers are known to be in the market for impact right handed bats this off-season and while neither of the players the team received for Kendrick represent that, this move clears the $10m owed to Kendrick this season as well as the playing time he would have demanded.
This move may not offer much in isolation, however it should allow the Dodgers to make a bigger splash later in the off-season.