Dodgers trade Howie Kendrick to Philadelphia Phillies.

Howie Kendrick

Howie Kendrick was the Dodgers’ primary left fielder in 2016. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

Howie Kendrick was an unsung hero for much of 2016, calling left field his primary position in a season where Andre Ethier, Trayce Thompson and Scott Van Slyke missed most of the year with injuries.

Now, Kendrick is gone. The Dodgers traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies for outfielder/first baseman Darin Ruf and minor league infielder Darnell Sweeney on Friday.

Kendrick, 33, batted a career-low .255 in 146 games for the Dodgers, who also played him at second base, first base and third base at times. But he saw fewer plate appearances per game in 2016 compared to any of his 11 major league seasons. Kendrick was reportedly so upset about his diminished playing time that he requested a trade.

Ruf, 30, has done most of his damage against left-handed pitchers, posting a .299/.379/.542 career slashline over parts of five major league seasons. He’s appeared in 139 games (92 starts) at first base, one game at third base, 76 games (64 starts) at left field and 29 games (27 starts) at right field.

Sweeney, 25, advanced to the Triple-A level in the Dodgers’ organization before he was traded to Philadelphia for Chase Utley in 2015. He spent all of this year with the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate, batting .233.

Since Sweeney wasn’t on the Phillies’ 40-man roster, the Dodgers still carry 37 men on theirs. The Dodgers also gained some financial wiggle room: Philadelphia will pick up the final year of Kendrick’s two-year contract, which pays him $10 million next season.

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Nine Dodgers players become free agents, including Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner.

Justin Turner Dodgers

Justin Turner and Chase Utley became free agents on Thursday. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner are free agents as of today, along with seven other Dodgers whose contracts expired the day after the World Series: Rich Hill, Joe Blanton, Chase Utley, Josh Reddick, J.P. Howell, Brett Anderson and Jesse Chavez.

A total of 139 players became free agents around MLB. That does not include Dodgers catcher Carlos Ruiz; the club has until Monday to exercise his 2017 contract option.

Colleague Bill Plunkett has the details.

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Report: Dodgers discussed packaging Yasiel Puig, Brandon McCarthy for Ryan Braun. Update.

Yasiel Puig

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was claimed on revocable trade waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers in the final days before the Aug. 31 deadline. (Getty Images)

How close were the Dodgers to trading Yasiel Puig in August?

Maybe closer than it seemed at first.

According to a report on MLB.com, the Dodgers and Brewers discussed a trade that would have sent Puig to Milwaukee up until the final minute of the Aug. 31 deadline.

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About Yasiel Puig, waiver claims, and tonight’s roster deadline. Update.

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig was claimed on revocable trade waivers by an unknown team Tuesday. (Getty Images)

According to a report earlier today on ESPN, the Dodgers will not trade Yasiel Puig to the team that claimed him off revocable trade waivers.

If the report is true, the team that was awarded its claim on Puig may have done so to block another team from acquiring him. That is often the case with August waiver claims.

Baseball’s rules this time of year are a bit quirky. There’s no technical “trade deadline” during the August waiver period. In fact, waiver revocable waiver claims can continue through the end of the regular season.

However, any player not in the Dodgers’ organization as of midnight tonight (Eastern Time) can’t be included on their postseason roster. The same goes for all 30 MLB teams. For teams contending for a postseason berth, that creates a somewhat artificial sense of urgency to complete a trade today.

So, the Dodgers might still wind up making a trade today, or tomorrow, or the next day. Just not a trade involving Puig, it seems.

Update (11:55 p.m. MT): The Dodgers didn’t trade anyone today, including Puig. Anyone not in the organization as of this moment cannot be included on their postseason roster.

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The many possibilities for Yasiel Puig suddenly include a trade.

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig was claimed on revocable trade waivers Tuesday. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

DENVER >> Yasiel Puig might return to Major League Baseball with another organization before he plays his next game for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Puig was claimed on revocable trade waivers by a mystery team Tuesday, according to a report earlier today on the website TodaysKnuckleball.com (and confirmed in subsequent reports that the Marlins, Mariners and Braves did not claim him).

The Dodgers can try to work out a trade with the claiming team, though such trades are rare. It’s possible that a rival team with no interest in Puig claimed him, merely to block him from being traded to a team that was willing to offer the Dodgers something of value. This kind of gamesmanship is not rare in August.

In either case, Puig isn’t among the planned roster call-ups for Sept. 1, when teams can carry up to 40 players on their active roster. Manager Dave Roberts recently said that Austin Barnes and Louis Coleman (who is on the disabled list) would be the first men up, along with Casey Fien, who was activated from the disabled list Tuesday.

So what is the plan for Puig, who’s slashing .369/.414/.631 at Triple-A Oklahoma City?
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