The Mariners have been connected to seemingly every potentially available player as the trade deadline approaches. Most of them have been right-handed bats, an undeniable weak spot on the team, with a few pitchers such as David Price and Bartolo Colon also being talked about.
One name that is thought to be available, but hasn’t been connected to the M’s is Ian Kennedy, right-handed pitcher for the Padres. San Diego is long out of the hunt, and Kennedy’s value seems to be high enough that it makes sense for them to cash in on it. He currently owns a 3.47 ERA (99 ERA-), 2.94 FIP and 2.3 fWAR through 124.1 innings. He figures to regress some in the second half, back towards his career numbers, but even then, ZiPS figures him to finish with a 3.42 ERA and 3.16 FIP, for 3.5 fWAR.
For his career, Kennedy holds a 3.94 ERA and 3.93 FIP, inflated slightly due to an uncharacteristically poor season last year. He has 2 seasons with 2+ fWAR, another with just under 5, and will likely finish somewhere in the 3′s this year.
It had been previously reported that the Angels were in talks with the Padres to acquire Kennedy, but a more recent tweet from Ken Rosenthal suggests the two sides couldn’t match up, and LAA is likely out of the Kennedy sweepstakes.
That could lend itself well for the Mariners, now having the ability to add a #2-3 type starter, while also sticking it to the division rival Angels in the process. It’s never smart to make a move this big just so another team can’t, but that isn’t the case here. The M’s will need another starter down the stretch, Kennedy would become the teams 3rd best starter (very close to Hisashi Iwakuma), on top of thinning the market for other teams looking for upgrades.
In terms of what it would cost, it is hard to tell, as is the case with almost every rumor. Kennedy isn’t a top tier starter, but he has pitched close to it at times, which could raise the asking price. Taijuan Walker, James Paxton and D.J. Peterson are out of the question, so the most the Padres could expect to get is Nick Franklin or Chris Taylor.
Kennedy is only signed through 2015 also, so if teams don’t feel confident in their ability to re-up him, they may not be willing to give up as much for his services. That short term contract also gives the Padres more incentive to move him while they can get value in return.
What do you think of Ian Kennedy as a trade target? What would you give up for his services?