The Arizona Diamondbacks have joined the party that is the MLB trade deadline. The Diamondbacks may currently be in the thick of the National League playoff race, however that did not stop them from trading away a quality starting pitcher in Ian Kennedy to the San Diego Padres in order to bolster their bullpen.
Ian Kennedy was once considered to be a key piece of their team, however on Tuesday it was evident the team viewed him as expendable. In exchange for Kennedy, the Diamondbacks received two relief pitchers from the Padres. Joe Thatcher, and Class AA reliever Matt Stites will join Arizona following the deal.
Currently the Diamondbacks are 3.5 games back in the National League West division race, and 4 games behind in the National League Wild Card race.
They will now be a man down in their starting rotation. During his four years with the Diamondbacks, Ian Kennedy had at times been the ace of the rotation. A winner of 48 games over his four season with the team, he has struggled to find a rhythm this season after a career year in 2011.
During the 2011 campaign he won 21 games and posting a 2.88 ERA. Since that year he has steadily regressed from the dominant performer he was. Last season he won 15 games, still impressive, but posted a 4.02 ERA. That’s almost a 1.3 run jump.
This season has especially been a struggle for the 28 year old pitcher. Kennedy has just a 3-8 record and a 5.23 ERA. In his final start for the Diamondbacks, he lasted just five innings in a loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
In trading Kennedy to the Padres, the Arizona Diamondbacks have saved themselves from the headache that a struggling pitcher making $4.27 million that is eligible for arbitration in the off season as well as scheduled to see a raise.
For Kennedy, he is now on a Padre team that is just five games behind the Diamondbacks in the NL West, a distance that easily could be made up in the remaining portion of the season. His numbers should benefit from his new surroundings, Petco Park is a pitcher friendly stadium to say the least.
Arizona will now be without a piece of its rotation, however the Diamondbacks have bolstered their bullpen by trading Ian Kennedy to the Padres. The deal should benefit both teams, and could prove the piece that puts one or both of these teams over the top moving forward.
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Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express