D-backs bring back RHP Ian Kennedy on 1-year deal

Mar 16, 2022, 11:43 AM | Updated: 11:46 am

Ian Kennedy #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch against the New York Mets at Citi Fiel...

Ian Kennedy #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch against the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 4, 2013 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks and veteran relief pitcher Ian Kennedy agreed to a one-year contract, the team announced on Wednesday.

Kennedy reportedly accepted a $4.75 million deal with $2.35 million in incentives, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Arizona said the contract has a “mutual option” for 2023.

The 37-year-old returns to the Valley after starting 119 games for the D-backs from 2010-13. His ERA in that span was 3.82.

Kennedy’s most accomplished season was in 2011 when Arizona won the National League West. He had a 2.88 ERA and finished fourth in the NL Cy Young award race.

The Diamondbacks traded him to the San Diego Padres during the 2013 season, and he has played for four teams since then.

He became a full-time reliever for the Kansas City Royals in 2019 when he took over as their closer. He finished that year with 30 saves, a 3.41 ERA and a career-high 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings.

Kennedy continued his success out of the ‘pen last season when he pitched for the Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies. He did not surrender a run over his final six outings and finished with a 3.20 ERA and 26 saves.

His average four-seam fastball was faster over the past three seasons than at any point during his career, per Baseball Savant.

He and Mark Melancon are veteran additions the D-backs have made to the bullpen this offseason. Arizona’s relievers owned the third-highest ERA in MLB last season.

No Diamondback had more than six saves last year.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts as he hits an RBI ground ball out in front of Wil...

Kellan Olson

Ketel Marte keeps hit streak going, D-backs beat Dodgers again

In a start to the Arizona Diamondbacks season that has been filled with offensive inconsistency, Ketel Marte is providing consistency.

10 hours ago

Brandon Hughes throws a pitch...

Tyler Drake

Brandon Hughes recalled by D-backs, will start vs. Dodgers; Slade Cecconi optioned

The Arizona Diamondbacks recalled left-handed pitcher Brandon Hughes from the Triple-A Reno Aces on Wednesday.

17 hours ago

Jake McCarthy...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks’ Jake McCarthy provides perspective on Corbin Carroll’s struggles

Jake McCarthy went through a difficult follow-up tp his rookie season and is confident Corbin Carroll will fight through this.

1 day ago

Brandon Pfaadt...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks’ Brandon Pfaadt keeps quality starts rolling in win over Dodgers

Diamondbacks starting pitcher Brandon Pfaadt threw his fifth consecutive quality start Tuesday night in a win at the Dodgers.

1 day ago

Ketel Marte...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte extends hitting streak to join exclusive club in team history

Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte extended his hitting streak to 20 games against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1 day ago

Deyvison De Los Santos...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks red hot prospect Deyvison De Los Santos moves up to Triple-A

Arizona Diamondbacks first base prospect Deyvison De Los Santos is another step closer to the major leagues.

2 days ago

D-backs bring back RHP Ian Kennedy on 1-year deal