San Diego Padres pitcher Ian Kennedy has been a hot topic as of late as the trade deadline approaches. Kennedy was reportedly drawing interest from the Los Angeles Angels as well as Huston Street, but the Angels settled for Street. Now, that leaves Kennedy available for potential contenders to chase after. Many teams could propel themselves to the top as far as being favorites to win the World Series with the acquisition of Ian Kennedy. I felt there was something more to come from Kennedy than just being on the roster and San Diego and kind of stowed away like a hidden secret.
Kennedy is a proven veteran and has pitched well in his career, especially when being the ace of the pitching staff for the Arizona Diamondbacks. One year that sticks out is 2011, when he posted a 2.88 ERA but saw his numbers decline in recent years. However, he does have a career ERA under 4.00 and that’s not too bad especially when taking into consideration the fact that the trade market for pitchers is not that good right now outside of David Price. Plus not many teams may want Price because of his contract and the Tampa Bay Rays are still battling in the AL East.
Now, where could Kennedy go? How about the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have seen their ace from 2013, Francisco Liriano, regress quite a bit in 2014. Kennedy would add even more depth to a team who has a lot of starting pitching depth not just at the major league level. On top of that, the Pirates likely would not have to mortgage the farm system in order to acquire Kennedy because his numbers are up a bit. A low-A level prospect or high-B prospect should get the deal done for Kennedy but it would also depend on the Padres asking price.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Pirates sent scouts to Kennedy’s start on Friday night. The Pirates could use one more consistent pitcher in their rotation and Kennedy would be that guy. The injury of right handed starter Gerrit Cole also adds to the reasons as to why adding Kennedy makes sense. Cole has seen quite a bit of time on the DL this season and he may be injury prone. The Pirates acquiring Kennedy would give them a safety net, if you will, to look to that could help lead the staff if Cole were to go down again.
There is another team to consider with Kennedy because the Pirates weren’t the only team scouting him. The Kansas City Royals were also at his start on Friday and are said to be keeping all options open when it comes to the trade deadline whereas the Pirates need starting pitching and relief pitching help at the deadline.