The Philadelphia Phillies have acquired 2B/OF Howie Kendrick from the Los Angeles Dodgers for 1B Darin Ruf and 2B/OF Darnell Sweeney (AAA). Kendrick has one year left on his contract for $10MM while Darin Ruf is arbitration eligible (Super 2) for the first time this Winter and Darnell Sweeney is still on the minor league payroll.
How this affects Philadelphia's 2B/OF future outlook: With Cesar Hernandez enjoying a breakout campaign in 2016, Howie Kendrick's fresh experience in left field this past season will likely translate into 2017 as the Phillies were currently relying on Cody Asche (.213/.284/.350) and Tyler Goeddel (.192/.258/.291) to handle the everyday duties in left field. Aaron Altherr struggled once returning from injury in 2016, but if he can rebound successfully, he could be another candidate for playing time in left field assuming Nick Williams emerges as the everyday right fielder.
How this affects Philadelphia's overall outlook: Now that Hendrick has arrived in Philly, many are speculating that Cesar Hernandez could be moved with Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com even going as far as saying Hernandez received a lot of interest at the GM meetings. However, with Kendrick only signed for one year, the lack of any other long-term alternatives at second base make trading, and Kendrick's ability to play left field along with the giant hole in Philadelphia's corner outfield situation, that appears unlikely. However, after exceeding expectations as a 26 year-old, Hernandez' stock may never be higher. If the Phillies can land a package of intriguing prospects, they might pull the trigger.
Barring a monster season at 33 years old, Kendrick will unlikely receive a qualifying offer at the end of this season. As a veteran, he can impact this young team in multiple ways while still providing solid production in his walk year. Now that Tommy Joseph has emerged as the Phillies' future first baseman, Darin Ruf had become expendable and Darnell Sweeney seems unlikely to become anything more than a situational pinch runner.