Phillies have busy night; trade Hellickson and Kendrick

Philadelphia trades Hellickson and Kendrick
The Philadelphia Phillies had a busy night on Friday, trading away veterans Jeremy Hellickson and Howie Kendrick while adding talent and cash to contribute in the ongoing rebuilding process.

The Phillies traded Hellickson and cash considerations to Baltimore in exchange for outfielder Hyun Soo Kim, lefthanded pitching prospect Garrett Cleavinger and international signing bonus pool space.

Kim, a 29-year-old Korean, was hitting just .232 in 56 games for the Orioles this season. He profiles as a bench option and a fourth outfielder as it appears, for now at least, the Phillies outfield is set with Nick Williams, Odubel Herrera, and Aaron Altherr.

The 23-year-old Cleavinger, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound left-hander, was the Orioles’ third-round draft pick in 2015. He was 2-4 with a 6.28 ERA in 27 games at Double A Bowie.

“We definitely like his arm. He still needs some work. He’s a project, but he’s a pretty interesting project to turn over to our player development group,” general manager Matt Klentak said. “We think our player development staff on the pitching side does a really good job, and we’re excited to see what they can do with Garrett. This guy, two years ago, was a third-round pick. He doesn’t come out of nowhere. We obviously like his strikeout work quite a bit.”

Hellickson was scheduled to start Friday's contest for the Phillies but was scratched about a half-hour before first pitch. Since joining the Phillies via trade in November of 2015 he made 52 starts while pitching to a 4.09 ERA. He also added a veteran presence to an otherwise inexperienced starting staff.

“At the time we acquired him, we talked about the importance of stability. He joined a young and unproven rotation,” Klentak said. “For the last year and a half, he has delivered incredible stability to this pitching staff. He has held up his end of the bargain magnificently. I told him tonight on his way out of the park just how much we appreciated that because he entered this organization at the very beginning stages of the rebuild.”

The Phillies traded Kendrick to Washington and received 21-year-old lefthander McKenzie Mills, a South Atlantic League all-star this season who had a 3.01 ERA in 18 starts with single-A Hagerstown. He was ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the Nationals' 18th best prospect.

Kendrick batted .340 in 141 at-bats this season with the Phillies. He was held out of Friday’s lineup after leaving Wednesday’s game with a bruised hand that he suffered when he was hit by a pitch. The Phillies sent $3 million to the Nationals to help offset a portion of his remaining salary, but in return the Phillies received additional international pool money.

Between the Hellickson and Kendrick deals the Phillies added a little more than $1 million to their international signing cap. Building on the $4.75 million allotted to every club the Phillies now have just over $6 million to spend on international signings.

“The name of the game is talent and there are limited way that we can acquire talent. One is through the draft, another is through trades and another is through signing international amateurs,” Klentak said. “There are rules that govern how much we can spend in all those areas, but this was an opportunity for us to add to our pool and allow our international group to go and identify more talent. So in a sense not only have we added the named players in these two trades today, but we’re also adding some yet-to-be-named players who haven’t signed yet, but at some point in the next 11 months we’ll make some more signings that in theory are part of these trades.”
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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