Through all the talks about David Price lies a hidden treasure from a certain National League team. His name is Ian Kennedy. Kennedy is 6-9 on the year with a 3.87 ERA. He is set to make $6.1 million this year, most of which the Padres have probably paid, and he’s also arbitration-eligible this off-season–so a team who acquires him would have his services next year as well.
St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals are fading, not fast, but fading. They had a rough homestand over the weekend against the Miami Marlins, losing 2 out of 3, and 6 of their last 10 games. On top of that, the Cardinals just lost starting pitcher Jaime Garcia for the year and Michael Wacha needs an MRI done for his scapula to see if it has healed. If so, he can begin throwing again, but won’t see a rehab assignment for about 3 weeks. Kennedy could fill the void for Garcia and the Cardinals have the money to make this move. Another good reason to get Kennedy? He is now 4-1 with a 2.55 ERA in 6 career starts against their NL Central rival Cincinnati Reds.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Obviously, the aforementioned career numbers against Cincinnati would give the Pirates a good reason to trade for Ian Kennedy, plus the Pirates have seen their starters go down with injuries a time or two. Some would argue that they have a surplus of pitching depth; however, GM Neil Huntington is not opposed to trying to trade for an arm at the deadline. Kennedy would be a great fit for Pittsburgh, in part because he’s another guy that could be given tweaks by pitching coach Ray Searage—who has been known to turn pitchers’ careers around. Money may be no issue for Pittsburgh in this case, because they will likely lose SP Francisco Liriano next year to the free agent market.
Toronto Blue Jays: Toronto has enjoyed quite the ride in the first half of this season, ultimately sitting atop the throne in the AL East. So, why would Toronto take a flier on Kennedy? It is easy to see that the Jays pitching staff is very inconsistent (they have 2 pitchers with ERA’s above 4.00), plus I don’t think that anybody expects Mark Buehrle to continue pitching at the pace he has so far this year. In a wide open AL East that looks like everyone is still in contention–except maybe the Red Sox–the Blue Jays would be another perfect fit for Kennedy. Toronto could take that division with a healthier Edwin Encarnacion and improved starting pitching.
Other teams to consider: Yankees and Angels.