Nationals acquire Howie Kendrick from Phillies

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Howie Kendrick is excited for the chance to play for a World Series contender - even if he has to bat toward the bottom of the batting order.

Kendrick was traded from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Washington Nationals on Friday night for minor league pitcher McKenzie Mills. The Phillies will send cash to the Nationals to cover part of the $3.55 million remaining in Kendrick's $10 million salary.

''It's great because they're in first place and have a good chance to make the postseason,'' Kendrick said. ''That's what we live for. Our ultimate goal as players is to win a World Series. I couldn't think of a better place to be going to.''

The 34-year-old is hitting .340 with two homers and 16 RBIs this season, but he has been limited to 39 games due to injuries. He didn't play in Friday night's 10-3 win over the Atlanta Braves after bruising his left hand when hit by a pitch in Wednesday's 9-0 win over Houston.

Kendrick has appeared in 24 games in left field, 10 games at second base and one at first.

Kendrick joins a Nationals team that entered Friday leading the NL in batting average

''I'll probably be hitting eighth or something,'' he joked. ''They've got a good lineup. Those guys know how to play the game. They do a lot on all ends. I'll just have to see where I fit in.''

From the time he was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers during the offseason, Kendrick said general manager Matt Klentak had told him a midseason trade was likely. That became more uncertain due to lengthy trips to the disabled list for a right abdominal strain and left hamstring strain.

''He is a really terrific player and a really terrific teammate,'' Klentak said. ''The fact he hit .340 this year, it helped. I really can't say enough about what he did to help a young team this year, and obviously his on-field contributions speak for themselves.''

Mills, a 21-year-old left-hander, is 12-2 with a 3.01 ERA in 18 starts with Class A Hagerstown and was a South Atlantic League All-Star. He was an 18th-round draft pick in 2014.

''A projectable left-handed starter who really had a remarkable transformation this year,'' Klentak said. ''He struggled with command early in his career, but this year has been dominant.''

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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