Matt Klentak’s had a busy week.
First, he traded the lone Phillies All-Star in Pat Neshek to the Colorado Rockies in return for shortstop Jose Gomez [.324 batting average, .811 OPS at Class-A Asheville], right-hander Alejandro Requena [starting pitcher, 2.85 ERA in 19 starts, 97 Ks and 25 BBs in 117 innings at Class-A Asheville], and right-hander J.D. Hammer [reliever, 2.36 ERA, 65 Ks, 14 BBs, 42 innings combined at Class-A Asheville and Class-A Advanced Lancaster]. Three prospects for Neshek? Not bad.
But he wasn’t done. No … he wasn’t done by a long shot.
Two days later, Klentak sent Howie Kendrick and cash to the division foe Washington Nationals after the Phils’ 10-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night. Despite his battles with injuries this season, Kendrick still netted the Phillies Class-A Hagerstown left-hander, McKenzie Mills [12-2, 3.01 ERA, 118 Ks, 22 BBs, in 104.2 innings pitched] and some international amateur signing bonus-pool space! Yeah! Klentak seemed plenty happy about this move:
“We were confident there would be a market for [Kendrick]. It developed a little bit later maybe than the one did for Pat Neshek largely because Howie wasn’t on the field for some stretches this year. He’s healthy now and ready to go.”
“Mills is a projectable left-handed starter who really had a remarkable transformation this year. He struggled with command early in his career, and this year he’s been dominant. We’re adding another solid starting pitching prospect to the lower levels of our system, and we’re really excited about that.”
“Putting more resources in the hands of [Phillies international scouting director] Sal Agostinelli and his staff, it’s something that we think is really valuable for this franchise. Sal and his group do an excellent job of finding talent, and the more resources we can send their way, the better.”
The Phillies’ general manager wasn’t done dealing then. An hour or so later, the Phillies sent right-hander Jeremy Hellickson to the Baltimore Orioles. Hellickson was scheduled to start against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night, but was scratched before the game started. Jake Thompson started in his place, who has had his fair share of struggles this season in the minors, but fared relatively well against Atlanta, scattering five hits in five innings, while striking out five and walking two.
The Orioles sent minor league [Double-A Bowie] lefty Garrett Cleavinger and outfielder Hyun Soo Kim, along with $1 million in international amateur signing bonus pool space to the Phillies. MORE POOL SPACES FOR EVERYONE!
Cleavinger has pitched in Double-A this season, amassing a 6.28 ERA in 38.2 innings pitched, striking out 42 while walking 23.
Kim will be a free agent when the offseason begins after he signed a two-year deal with the Orioles before last season. He’s had quite the interesting relationship with the team, with plenty of ups-and-downs. After a slow start last season, Kim became one of the more popular players on the team, and ended the 2016 season with a .302 average and .801 OPS. This year, Kim’s job was taken over completely by rookie Trey Mancini.
For those keeping score at home, Klentak has traded three players that were never in his long-term plan [unless, you know, Neshek wants to come back] and some cash in return for six players – yes, mostly prospects – and international pool money. I’d say that’s a good haul for what we thought the Phillies might get back.
And they have some money to play with in the offseason. Maybe things are looking up. Maybe.
The MLB trade deadline is at 4:00 P.M. EST on Monday. Is Klentak finished? Something tells me … no.
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