Usually — not all the time but usually — there is a visceral reaction to a trade. An immediate, reactionary emotion the moment you see it. Love it, hate it, it wells up within you in a flash.
Not with this one. Not with Ian Kennedy going to the Padres. I don’t love it or hate it. No emotion. It’s just…there.
And yet, I am not overly impressed with what the D-backs got in return.
Joe Thatcher is a fine left-handed reliever, but he’s just that — a left handed reliever. He’ll have opportunities to impact games between now and the end of the season, but it’s such a specialized role there won’t be enough of them to call him a true difference maker. Does he close the gap (3.5 and climbing) between the Dodgers and D-backs? Take that back. I feel silly for even asking that question, of course not.
Matt Stites looks promising, but offers nothing that helps this team today. For now, he’s yet another player for which the word “could” is the most applicable and as we all know, when it comes to prospects, there’s a big chasm between “could” and “will”.
And yet I am not overly attached to what they gave up.
Ian Kennedy is as nice a guy as you’ll encounter in Major League Baseball. His 2011 season was the stuff of dreams. Unfortunately, ever since then, we’ve been left to wonder if it was exactly that. A dream. Not reality. And with so many pitchers knocking on the door — Brandon McCarthy and Trevor Cahill now and Tyler Skaggs and Archie Bradley sometime soon — somebody had to go. Kennedy went from an ace to a miscast aceto one of the worst starters in all of baseball this year, and that moved him to the top of the list.
I do think (and hope) he’ll partially resurrect his career in pitcher-friendly San Diego, but the chances of him rediscovering the old magic seems to slip away by the start. Perhaps the goal is to rediscover the pitcher he was in 2012 (15 wins, ERA around 4.00) and I’m sure the Padres are hoping that’s the player they’ve acquired.
But the D-backs didn’t hesitate to trade him within the division, and based off the results of the last year, there really wasn’t much of a reason to.