6 – Washington Nationals pick up Howie Kendrick (2017)
When the MLB Trade Deadline rolls around, there always seems to be a trade for a less heralded bench bat that pays dividends. In 2017, you could argue it was Howie Kendrick for the Washington Nationals.
Over the seasons leading up to this one, Kendrick had played gone from the LA Angels starting second baseman to a super-utility player with their neighbor LA Dodgers.
Then in 2017, he was having a great bounce-back season for the Philadelphia Phillies. His slash line was an excellent .340/.397/.454, which peaked the interest of the Nationals.
He proved a weapon off the bench, as well as filling in for the injured Jayson Werth during the stretch run. He hit .293, with seven home runs and 25 RBIs in his final 52 games of the season.
One of his most memorable mosts was a walk-off grand slam against the San Francisco Giants. He was a fantastic addition to the team and even re-signed in the offseason to fill the same valuable utility role. But an Achilles injury ruled him out for the season which was a hammer blow.
The prospect they had to give up in the deal, McKenzie Mills, was having a nice season for the Hagerstown Suns. In 2018, he continues to have a solid year in High-A with a 3.71 ERA and about a strikeout an inning.
Overall, it could be considered a win-win for both teams so far, as the Phillies signed Kendrick purely to flip him at the deadline. The Nationals took advantage of the situation and got a fantastic veteran utility player.