This time two years ago, Ian Kennedy was on his way to a 21-win season.
Now, he’s on his way to the San Diego Padres.
The Arizona Diamondbacks announced they have swapped Kennedy for left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher, right-handed pitcher Matt Stites and a competitive balance draft pick, which will come be the first selection of Competitive Balance Round B between the second and third rounds of the 2014 First-Year player Draft.
As good as Kennedy was in 2011, when he won 21 games and had an ERA of 2.88, he’s been equally bad this season, as he’s just 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA.
He has not won a game since June 1.
In return for the 28-year-old Kennedy the D-backs get the 31-year-old Thatcher, who is 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA this season, and Stites, who is 2-2 with a 2.08 ERA and 14 saves for Double-A San Antonio.
According to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro, the D-backs may have something in the 23-year-old Stites.
Stites is a big time bullpen prospect could very well be Diamondbacks closer next season, he's that good….
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo620) July 31, 2013
Here’s a video of Stites putting in some work:
It is interesting that the D-backs chose to send Kennedy to a division rival, but given the pitcher’s issues it’s possible there was not a long list of suitors. So the Padres, with former Arizona general manager Josh Byrnes serving in the same capacity for them, may have been one of the only options.
And keep in mind, Byrnes was the one who originally brought Kennedy to Arizona in the three-way trade that sent Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth to Detroit.
In parts of four seasons in Arizona, Kennedy compiled a 48-34 record with a 3.82 ERA.
The @dbacks thank Ian for his time here. Class act and wish he and his family well in the future.
— Derrick Hall (@DHallDbacks) July 31, 2013