Ian Kennedy did not want to be traded.
An Arizona Diamondback since 2010 and the team’s Opening Day starter each of the last three seasons, he never wanted out.
However, his struggles the last two seasons — and especially this year — certainly led to him knowing it was a possibility.
“I figure there’s some things going on,” he told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Thursday. “We have a lot of young guys coming up. I was struggling…”
However, Kennedy said he felt like his impact on the organization the last few years, especially with younger players, had him thinking that the rumors would be for naught and he wouldn’t be going anywhere.
But he was dealt, to the San Diego Padres in exchange for reliever Joe Thatcher, minor leaguer Matt Stites and a draft pick.
Any disappointment the 28-year-old may have felt was tempered by the idea that he’s heading to San Diego, as the Huntington Beach native who went to college at the University of Southern California knows he’s going to a place where he’s wanted.
After all, Padres GM Josh Byrnes told Kennedy he’s the first player he’s traded for twice.
How this trade is judged will depend on whether or not Kennedy can regain his 2011 form, or at least something close to it. Since that season, when he won 21 games and had an ERA of 2.88, the right-hander has gone 18-20 with a 4.47 ERA.
He can’t say exactly why he’s struggled so badly, but does have some ideas.
“With runners on I wasn’t as good as I have been, I’ve been a little up in the zone,” he said. “But I’ve worked as hard as ever to try and work on things, especially out of the stretch.”
Kennedy noted that there were some good starts mixed in with the bad ones, but was not able to sustain any type of consistency.
“I wish can pinpoint exactly, but I know that you don’t give up as many runs in those clutch situations with two outs or two strikes and pitch into a ballgame.”
Of course, the next time the D-backs see Kennedy he’ll be the opposition, and with seven games left between the teams there is a chance the pitcher will get to face his former team.
Kennedy says he holds no personal grudge or vendetta against the club, which means you shouldn’t expect him to go head-hunting or anything like that.
“I got a text from (Trevor) Cahill and he said, he always jokes about it and at first it wasn’t really that funny because you know me, I’m not trying to hit anyone in the head,” he said. “He texts me and says, ‘Hey I don’t know if I’ve made you mad in the past but don’t hit me in the head,’ and I text him, ‘Don’t get too comfortable in that box.'”