Dbacks Trade Kennedy to the Padres
With the deadline quickly approaching on Wednesday, many people wondered and speculated on if the Diamondbacks’ GM Kevin Towers would make a move to help a roster that was in need of a boost. After missing out on trading for Jake Peavy, who eventually ended up in Boston, the number of quality players available for trade was dwindling. Towers said when he appeared on 620 KTAR on Wednesday that he was “fairly confident that there will be some trade news involving the Diamondbacks probably by the end of the day.” The talk also shifted towards protecting the team’s prospects, who were “safe”. Once that shoe dropped, many people saw two names clearly spelled out: Ian Kennedy and Jason Kubel. By the end of the day, Ian Kennedy would be a San Diego Padre.
Kennedy’s performance as of late has been on a downward slide, and everyone knows that there are too many cooks in the kitchen for the Dbacks’ outfield. Kubel’s contract also made him a prime suspect for Towers to move. However, it was just as big of a reason for other teams not to take him. So that left moving Kennedy as the most reasonable decision. Maybe not to a division rival who happens to beat the pants off Arizona in most games lately, but a reasonable decision nonetheless. Kennedy came into Wednesday with a 3-8 record and a ballooning 5.23 ERA, which is quite a drop from his best season as a Snake in 2011. He won 21 games that year for Arizona while putting up Cy Young contending numbers in the form of a 2.88 ERA and an average of 3.60 Ks per BB. Dbacks’ Towers pulled the trigger later on Wednesday to trade Kennedy to San Diego. In return, Arizona received left handed reliever Joe Thatcher, minor league reliever Matt Stites, and a compensatory lottery pick between the 1st and 2nd rounds.
The trade brings Joe Thatcher to AZ, a much needed lefty specialist reliever. Thatcher has a 2.10 ERA in 30.0 IP this season, and he was brought over to help a struggling bullpen that pretty much has Tony Sipp as their lone LHP. Thatcher has been a lefty killer, and Towers felt that opposing left handed batters were killing the Dbacks as of late. The deal also brings over minor league pitcher Matt Stites, who many believe could be ready to be a full time MLB relieve by next season. Stites is a reliever with a 2.08 ERA is Double A San Antonio this season. Once again, the Dbacks make moves for the future with the addition of Stites and the compensatory lottery pick.
Many claim the deal favors San Diego with Kennedy being such an established starting pitcher. Petco Park is much more pitcher friendly than Chase Field, and everyone knows what The Nerfbeard is capable of. IPK is an outstanding player, and in my personal opinion he’s also an outstanding human being. But I feel that not only did the Diamondbacks address a direct concern with their bullpen for this year’s pennant race, but the addition of Matt Stites is once again a move by Towers to help the team’s future. This will enable the team to focus on what their starting rotation will look like when McCarthy and Cahill come back from injuries. The team has a crucial east coast road trip coming up to kick off the month of August, and they need some big wins to keep up with the 1st place Dodgers.
Derek Montilla aka Captain Kaveman is on Twitter @Cap_Kaveman! You’ve been warned!
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