Ian Kennedy to Padres, A Win-Win Agreement
Sitting eight games below .500 and five behind trading partner, Arizona, the San Diego Padres added an arm to their rotation.
Ian Kennedy, a former 21-game-winner and before that, a Yankee prospect, now stands with an ugly 3-8 record and 5.23 ERA. He seems to have overstayed his welcome in Arizona, but the Padres will now take a shot on the righty who hails from Southern California.
An intra-divisional trade where the team with the better spot in the standings is moving a starting pitcher in exchange for bullpen help and picks/prospects seems very odd, but indeed it makes sense for both squads. In the Diamondbacks favor, they add left-hander Joe Thatcher. Thatcher immediately helps a bullpen that lacks a solid closer (Putz, Bell, and Ziegler have all taken turns) or a solid lefty (Colt Hynes holds an ERA over 7.00) Additionally they save money (Kennedy is making $4.27 million), move a player they possibly may not have offered arbitration, add a prospect, add a draft pick, and all while removing a starting pitcher with an ERA over five from their rotation.
Interestingly, the Padres were the team giving up a draft pick and prospect despite their poor spot in the NL West standings. What they got though was someone who can be part of their long-term plans. Along with Andrew Cashner and Edison Volquez, they now have the semblance of a rotation. Ian Kennedy is just 28-years-old, reasonably affordable, can be kept through 2015, and even upon hitting free agency may be opt to stay near Southern California, his home. Further, a change of scenery–especially to a much more pitcher friendly ball park–may be just what Ian Kennedy needs. While he may never rekindle the success that got him the 4th most Cy Young votes, there is reason to believe he can be a valuable middle-of-the-rotation starter for the San Diego Padres. Josh Byrnes was the GM in Arizona when they traded with the Yankees to acquire Ian Kennedy. He is now the GM of the San Diego Padres, meaning he has traded for Kennedy twice!
Ryan Kantor is an author at Reading Between the Seams. He is a life-long Yankees fan and a proud Clemson alumnus, residing in North Carolina, where he works in marketing research. For more stories like this, you can visit his personal blog at RyanKantor.com and follow him on Twitter at @Ryan_Kantor.