If there’s one pitcher who could use a new team it’s Ian Kennedy, who didn’t do all that well during his time with the San Diego Padres. While not a top of the rotation kind of guy, he can be useful as the number four or five option for a number of teams, especially the Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.
While the Royals did make that expensive Alex Gordon re-signing (by their own standards), they still have money to go after someone like Kennedy, coming after a season in which he posted a 4.28 ERA, his worst in San Diego, and now four years removed from the last time he had a sub 3.00 ERA. His 1.295 WHIP wasn’t too bad, but for a contract year, it wasn’t the kind that makes a player receive huge offers from every direction.
Kennedy made just under $10 million last season, and probably won’t be getting anymore from anyone, or at least not a lot more, on a three or four year deal he’ll sign. The 31 year old has pitched in 31 games or more since 2010 each season, removing any worry about an injury issue. With the space the Royals home field offers and the excellent outfield defense they have, someone like Kennedy, who averaged 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings over the last two years, could do a lot better than before.
Both the Nationals and the Astros are in the market for starting pitching as well. The Astros have been ambitious in the players they’ve gone after so far, although without any success. The Nationals have mostly been dealing with improving their hitting and defense, but some more quality or at least depth in Kennedy’s case to their rotation won’t hurt, with money not being too much of a problem. He’s not likely to stay in San Diego, who don’t seem to be aiming too high in 2016, which isn’t new.