D-backs decline option for RHP Ian Kennedy, will enter free agency

Nov 8, 2022, 6:11 PM | Updated: 6:31 pm

Arizona Diamondbacks RHP Ian Kennedy throws a bullpen the day before the start of spring training a...

Arizona Diamondbacks RHP Ian Kennedy throws a bullpen the day before the start of spring training at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Arizona, on March 16, 2022. (Arizona Sports Photo/Jake Anderson)

(Arizona Sports Photo/Jake Anderson)

The Arizona Diamondbacks have declined their end of a $4 million mutual option for right-handed reliever Ian Kennedy, the team announced Tuesday.

The story was first reported by AZCentral’s Nick Piecoro.

Kennedy will turn 38 next month and is coming off of one of the worst seasons in his 16-year career.

The righty’s 2022 campaign saw him go 4-7 with a 5.36 ERA, 1.57 WHIP and a .278 opposing batting average while striking out 44 batters over 50.1 innings pitched.

And while serving as both a setup man and closer given the D-backs’ bullpen woes this past season, Kennedy picked up 10 holds and 10 saves, but also blew six saves for a 62.5% save percentage. He also allowed 11 home runs and 22 walks.

In years where Kennedy has tossed for at least 50 innings, it marked career worsts for opposing batting average (.278), on-base percentage (.346), slugging percentage (.502) and OPS (.849). The same goes for exit velocity (92.2), hard hit percentage (45.4) and line drive percentage (34.1%).

As a team, the Diamondbacks finished with 26 blown saves out of 58 opportunities (44.8%) last season. Those metrics ranked 11th-worst in Major League Baseball and 6th-worst in the National League.

Kennedy’s six blown saves matched fellow D-backs relievers Mark Melancon and All-Star Joe Mantiply, which also rank tied for the eighth-most in MLB and sixth-most in the NL.

Also Tuesday, the Diamondbacks claimed RHP Cole Sulser off waivers from the Miami Marlins.

Sulser appeared in 39 games with Miami this season, after spending two seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. He was 1-4 with a 5.29 ERA for Miami with two saves.

The 32-year-old has appeared in 125 MLB games overall.

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