The Los Angeles Dodgers traded veteran second baseman/outfielder Howie Kendrick to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday. In return, the Dodgers received first baseman Darin Ruf and utility man Darnell Sweeney, a former Dodgers prospect.
Sources say that Kendrick, 33, was unhappy with his irregular playing time with Dodgers this season and had asked to be traded. The Phillies could use him either in left field or at second base, or possibly both.
Kendrick has one year remaining on a two-year, $20 million contract that will pay him $10 million in 2017. He hit a career-low .255, with a .326 on-base percentage, this year while starting 123 games at four positions (second base, third, first and left field).
"Howie Kendrick brings a proven, veteran presence to our young lineup," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said in a statement. "He is a hard worker, a great teammate and a true professional hitter. In addition, Howie's defensive versatility provides significant flexibility to our roster, which should prove to be valuable to our club in 2017."
The 30-year-old Ruf led the minor leagues in home runs in 2012, with 38, but was never able to win a full-time job in Philadelphia, where he was blocked at first base by Ryan Howard. His appeal to the Dodgers is that he has a career slash line of .299/.379/.542/.921 against left-handed pitching, with 17 home runs in 271 at-bats.
Sweeney, 25, came up through the Dodgers' system but was traded to Philadelphia in 2015 in the deal that sent Chase Utley to L.A. He batted .233, with six home runs and 12 stolen bases, in 118 games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season, while playing second base, shortstop, third base and center field.
Dodgers trade Howie Kendrick to Phillies for Darin Ruf, Darnell Sweeney