Updated May 16, 2013 - 11:46 am
Change of scenery best thing for Ian Kennedy?
Then the team's ace, Kennedy posted a 21-4 record to go along with a 2.88 ERA and fourth-place finish in the Cy Young voting.
Since then, the right-hander has gone 17-15 with a 4.20 ERA, looking more like a number four starter than a number one.
Who is the real Ian Kennedy, and how much is he worth?
Over at MLBTradeRumors.com, the question of if the 28-year-old could benefit from a change of scenery.
Kennedy, 28, has a 4.88 ERA, 7.2 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, 1.14 HR/9, and 38.8% groundball rate in 55 1/3 innings for the Diamondbacks this year. Strikeouts are down and walks are way up, which is concerning. Earning $4.265MM this year as a first-time arbitration eligible player, Kennedy is at the top of the salary scale for his service class, a pace that might slow a bit with an off-year. He's under team control through 2015, and since he is represented by the Boras Corporation, there's a good chance he reaches free agency when eligible. He is a good candidate for a change of scenery, and if there's one GM who might trade his Opening Day starter midseason while contending, it's the Gunslinger.
Arizona's rotation has a 3.68 ERA, sixth-best in the league even with Kennedy's 4.88 ERA covering about 22% of their innings. The readiness of Triple-A pitchers Tyler Skaggs, Randall Delgado, and Zeke Spruill would have to be a factor in considering a midseason trade of Kennedy. None of them seem ready to fill Kennedy's shoes, as an innings eater who should be able to post a sub-4.00 ERA from here on out if the walks come down. However, as a ready pointed out in the comments, Daniel Hudson should return from Tommy John surgery in July, which could provide the needed depth to trade Kennedy.
Indeed, the D-backs are still rather deep with arms in the farm system, and at some point may need to open up a spot in the rotation for someone like Skaggs, Delgado or even, down the road, Archie Bradley. And depending on Kennedy's future salary demands, he may end up pricing himself out of the D-backs' range.
Then again, unless he starts looking more like the pitcher he was in 2011 and not the pitcher he has been since, there may not be many willing to offer the type of big bucks that are usually given to the game's better hurlers.
Adam Green, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- The Pulse: D-backs fans like the Trumbo trade
- Mark Trumbo trade looks like another admission of a previous mistake
- Mark Trumbo 'super excited' to stick in left field with the Arizona Diamondbacks
- Trumbo, Anderson dealt as winter meetings pick up
- Arizona Diamondbacks' GM Kevin Towers on why he traded Tyler Skaggs
- Mark Trumbo, Diamondbacks Outfielder - Wednesday December 11Mark Trumbo joins the show to discuss being traded to the Diamondbacks.
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday December 11Why did the D-backs add Mark Trumbo and will they make more moves?
- Keith Law, ESPN MLB Insider - Wednesday December 11Law explains why the D-backs trade for Mark Trumbo will not work.
- Ken Kendrick, Arizona Diamondbacks Owner - Friday November 22Kendrick joins the show to talk about the Diamondbacks' offseason plans.
- Bickley Blast - Thursday November 21Kirk Gibson says he thinks the Diamondbacks will win a World Series in Arizona.