Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Padres to Acquire Ian Kennedy

After an offseason of doing nothing, and seeing injuries, suspensions, and bad performances galore in season, the Padres may finally have some hope. This offseason, the Padres resigned pitcher Jason Marquis and acquired pitcher Tyson Ross from the A's. The offseason was largely uneventful, and looking back, Tyson Ross has pitched well and Jason Marquis is out for the year. Ross has a 2.90 ERA in 59 innings (24 games, 5 starts) and Marquis went 9-5 with a 4.05 ERA in 117 innings before being out for the season and ending his Padres career by blowing out his arm. The year before, the Padres had lost most of their rotation for extended periods of time, with the exception of Edinson Volquez and Clayton Richard who were steady pieces in the rotation, which resulted in the pick-ups of Marquis and starter Eric Stults, who has gone 16-12 with a 3.36 ERA in 36 starts (40 games) in parts of two seasons while providing the Padres with a reliable starter. The team has seen virtually every offensive player get hurt or suspended or both this year, which is tough to see. The Padres ended up in the cellar early after a slow start (5-15), but climbed up to 2nd place (36-32), before falling back down. Today, the Padres are in 4th place, and 8.5 games out of first, but only a game out of third, and 5 games out of second. The team's only all-star, shortstop Everth Cabrera, is facing a suspension soon in the Biogenesis scandal that could take him out of action until September. The team also lost catcher Yasmani Grandal to a 9-12 month ACL tear. Today, on the trade deadline, many "experts" thought that San Diego would come in selling Carlos Quentin (he has a full NTC and he has said on the record he will not waive in, and ESPN seems unable to understand that), Chase Headley, Luke Gregerson, Joe Thatcher for prospects.

In 2011, Ian Kennedy was coming off a season where he went 20-4 with a 2.88 ERA in the hitter friendly Chase Field in Arizona. He was voted 4th in the CY Young award voting, and he was only 26. Two years later, the 28-year old has an ERA of almost double what his 2011 ERA was, and he has given up nearly as many home runs as he gave that year through half a season. His team was only 3.5 games out of first place, and he is creating negative value for them. They have youngsters Tyler Skaggs and Randall Delgado knocking on the door, and the team needs bullpen help. The former ace had some of the lowest value in his career, and there was a slow deadline day, until the once thought to be sellers, the San Diego Padres, became buyers and bought low on the former ace. San Diego shipped left handed specialist Joe Thatcher, Matt Stites, and a draft pick. The deal gives the Diamondbacks some bullpen help and some help for the future.

For the Padres, the deal's effects will go beyond the baseball diamond. The deal inspires the Padres fan base by an acquisition that shows that the Padres want to compete. The deal gives San Diego some hope on the baseball diamond too. Kennedy was at one point one of the best pitchers in baseball, and is under control for 2 and a half seasons. The deal brings in some help now and in the next two seasons, as Kennedy immediately becomes one the best pitchers on the Padres, possibly behind Andrew Cashner. The deal infuses some talent, a guy who could be fixed by pitching coach Darren Balsley like Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner, Eric Stults, and countless others. The deal is exciting and I am happy!

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