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Updated Aug 1, 2013 - 4:38 pm

Arizona Diamondbacks president: Trading Ian Kennedy to division rival tough, but best for team

Trades happen all the time in sports, but rarely are they between division rivals.

After all, teams don’t want to run the risk of, in a way, doing something that keeps themselves out of the postseason.

So, when the Arizona Diamondbacks traded starting pitcher Ian Kennedy Wednesday, some eyebrows were raised.

Not because the team dealt their Opening Day starter, as nobody who is 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA should be untouchable. No, it was a bit surprising because he was sent to the San Diego Padres, who also reside in the NL West and currently trail the D-backs by six games.

“That’s the toughest thing to do,” D-backs president Derrick Hall told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Thursday. “We were looking for all and any interested parties for Kennedy, and obviously we wanted to make the best baseball deal and the best baseball deal for us was with San Diego.”

Hall said adding lefty reliever Joe Thatcher along with minor leaguer Matt Stites and a draft pick softened the blow of sending their former ace just a bit west.

Thatcher, 31, is 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA this season, and many view the 23-year-old Stites as a closer in the making.

“If you think you’re better for it you go ahead and do it, regardless of who the team is,” he said.

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