With the team well out of contention in the NL West and expected to consider moves surrounding nearly ever player on their roster, it now appears that the San Diego Padres would prefer to keep Ian Kennedy. The news, courtesy of Dennis Lin at the San Diego Union-Tribune, would seem to come as somewhat of a surprise given the fact that Kennedy just might have been one of the team’s most valuable trade chips.
Kennedy could still be moved, of course, but the cost will likely be high.
The 29 year old Southern California native has been having a solid season in San Diego. He’s made an NL high 20 starts, throwing 124.1 IP on the year already with a 3.47 ERA and 1.190 WHIP – the best marks he’s shown since 2011. Kennedy’s 9.6 K/9 is also a career high.
Lin notes that Kennedy has arguably been the anchor for the Padres’ rotation this season and could be again next year. Andrew Cashner has dealt with some injury concerns and still isn’t 100%. Tyson Ross has emerged as an All Star, but has a “high-risk delivery”. Odrisamer Despaigne and Jesse Hahn are rookies, who could be due for some regression and growing pains.
Kennedy is earning $6.1 Million this season and will be arbitration eligible for the final time in 2015. He could be placing himself in line for a nice raise in that final year of arbitration with the way he’s thrown this year. An extension certainly won’t come easily, as Scott Boras represents Kennedy and he’s well known for encouraging his clients to wait until free agency.
Numerous teams could be in the mix for Kennedy if he is made available by San Diego. It remains to be seen just how high a price the Padres, who still do not have a proper GM in place, will ask in return for him.