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.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run in ...

Associated Press

Homers by Carroll, Thomas lead D-backs to victory over Cubs

Corbin Carroll hit a two-run homer and Alek Thomas had a solo shot in Arizona’s three-run fifth inning to help the D-backs beat the Cubs for their sixth win in seven games.

7 hours ago

Justin Martinez...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks’ Jose Herrera showing leadership qualities with younger pitchers

Arizona Diamondbacks backup catcher Jose Herrera has grown over the years into "an extra coach in the dugout."

17 hours ago

Tanner Scott...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks trade deadline: 10 left-handed relievers to keep an eye on

The Diamondbacks are in need of left-handed relief help, and there is a group of southpaws on teams well out of contention.

1 day ago

Ryne Nelson...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks’ Ryne Nelson sets career high with 9 Ks in win vs. Cubs

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Ryne Nelson set a career high with nine strikeouts Friday against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

2 days ago

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo during D-backs vs. Dodgers on July 3, 2024. (Felisa Card...

Damon Allred

Torey Lovullo: Diamondbacks ‘within striking distance’ entering 2nd half

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo has his rotation in order after the All-Star break going into a three-game series against the Cubs in Chicago.

2 days ago


Arizona Sports Video

Video: Which Arizona sports legend was left off the top 100 athletes since 2000? #cardinals #nfl

ESPN released the final tier of its top 100 athletes since 2000 and Burns & Gambo can't help but notice one Arizona Cardinals legend was missing from the list entirely.

2 days ago

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