Earlier today we learned from CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury that the Phillies were in trade discussions involving second baseman Cesar Hernandez.One move that may precipitate such a trade has already happened.   The Phillies have struck a deal: they have sent outfielder Darin Ruf and infielder Darnell Sweeney to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for second baseman Howie Kendrick.

Kendrick is headed into the second year of a two-year, $20 million deal he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, even after the Dodgers signed Chase Utley to a new deal to play second base.   Kendrick picked up some time at third base and even the outfield in 2016, as Utley and Kike Hernandez got the playing time at second base.  Kendrick is  .289 career hitter who hit a career-low .255 in 2016.

Kendrick had reportedly been asking for a trade in recent days.   The move frees up money for the Los Angeles Dodgers.   For the Phillies, they did not have to give up all that much.

Sweeney was acquired from the Dodgers in the Utley trade of 2015.  Sweeney got some time at the big league level immediately following the trade, but failed to make the big leagues in 2016.  The Phillies outrighted Sweeney to Triple-A in 2016.  Sweeney did not appear to be in the Phillies' plans.

Ruf also appeared to be out of time with the Phillies.  The Phillies surprisingly kept him on the 40-man roster earlier this offseason when they made a number of cuts.  That roster spot now goes to Kendrick.  Ruf was out of minor league options, limiting the team's flexibility with Ruf.