Jeremy Hellickson was scratched about 30 minutes before Friday night’s 10-3 win over the Braves. Hellickson, teammates and fans all assumed something was up despite the announcement that he was scratched due to “wet field conditions”. Sure enough, the announcement came just a few hours later that Hellickson was on his way down I-95 to Baltimore. A short time later, Howie Kendrick asked if he could hitch a ride (or so I assume) as the Phils announced he had been traded to the Nationals.
What did the Phils get?
Hellickson (from the O’s)- The Phils received 2 players and international signing money in exchange for Hellickson.
- Hyun Soo Kim (OF)- Kim is a LH outfielder who was hitting just .232 in the final year of a 2 year deal (he hit .302 last year). He will likely remain with the big club as a bench piece while the younger guys continue to man the outfield full time.
- Garrett Cleavinger (LHP)- A 23 year old 3rd round pick in 2015, Cleavinger has a fastball that tops out in the mid-90’s. He was the closer for the Orioles AA affiliate. In 38 2/3 innings this season, he has a 6.28 ERA with a 42-23 K/BB ratio. Matt Klentak knows he is a project but they like his potential.
- International signing money- This has proven to be a big piece for Klentak and Co. They’ve made this a part of multiple deals and made multiple signings from the international market last month. Even if Cleavinger doesn’t pan out, this could eventually turn into a future piece.
Kendrick (from Washington)- More Single A pitching depth.
- McKenzie Mills (LHP)- The Phils sent the Nationals a reported $3 million in cash to offset Kendrick’s salary for the remainder of the season in exchange for the 21 year old leftie. In 18 starts at Hagerstown, Mills had a 3.01 ERA with a 118-22 K/BB ratio earning an All Star selection along the way. Mills will join the 3 players acquired in the Pat Neshek deal at Single A. All 3 of those players also played in the single A all star game.
Kendrick was arguably more productive this season than Hellickson hitting .340 in his injury plagued season but was by all accounts a great clubhouse guy. Kendrick will now have a chance to play in a playoff race with the Nats provided he can stay healthy.
In 20 starts this year, Hellickson had a 4.73 ERA but managed only 6 wins after getting the win in 4 of his first 5 starts. After starting April with a 1.80 ERA, May and beyond were letdowns. Now, he’ll head to the Orioles who are 6.5 games out of the Wild Card and hoping Hellickson can help move the needle upward. Jake Thompson started in Hellickson’s place last night and will likely take his spot in the rotation moving forward.
Klentak did what most would consider a decent job unloading the 3 guys that were signed specifically for the purpose of being traded. Considering they were all on 1 year deals, none were going to bring in a haul of players or a major prospect. Stocking up with youth was the best bet and Klentak seems to have done that. Whether they pan out is anyone’s guess.
The Phils have a few more possibilities with guys like Daniel Nava and Joaquin Benoit but they may be more likely to go after the non-waiver deadline on Monday. Now, it’s up to the young guys to run with the added playing time.