July 12, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Ian Kennedy (22) watches game action during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
San Diego Padres starting pitcher Ian Kennedy has emerged as one of the Padres top trade chips for this year’s deadline, and has caught the eye of several teams, including the Baltimore Orioles, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
According to Rosenthal the Orioles scouted Kennedy over the weekend, and if that was the case they had to be impressed with what they saw, watching Kennedy strike out eight Dodgers, through eight innings, without allowing a run, arguably his best start as a Padre.
However, with the Padres recent extension of Seth Smith, Chairman Ron Fowler has shown that the team is not ready to sell of all their pieces, and a player like Kennedy, who is signed through 2015, may be someone Fowler plans to build around.
Kennedy was acquired last year from the Arizona Diomandbacks for reliever Joe Thatcher, and has been effective in his time in San Diego, going 11-11 with a 3.72 ERA, and a 9.6 K/9. San Diego will no doubt be sellers at this year’s deadline, but Kennedy, 29, may not be available.
According to UT San Diego’s Dennis Lin, “Unless an offer blows them away, the Padres’ owners, eager to contend, may be compensating Kennedy handsomely in 2015.” If the Padres are indeed looking to win now, extending Kennedy would be a great start, but one thing to keep in mind is that his agent is the notorious Scott Boras.
On the other hand, the Orioles are desperate for starting pitching, especially after having to option Bud Norris to the minors last week, so they may part with a top prospect, like outfielder Josh Hart (No. 4 in their system according to MLB.com) in order to acquire Kennedy.
While it seems unlikely the Padres would part ways with Kennedy, if they are blown away with an offer, they may just take it to speed up the rebuilding process.