According to a report from MLB.com and Padres’ insider Corey Brock, the San Diego Padres are leaning towards keeping starting pitchers, and two of their big three in Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner. That means that the remainder of the Padres’ rotation, led by Ian Kennedy, are most likely the pieces that will be moved in the team’s attempt to acquire more offense this winter.
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The primary reason Brock believes the Friars are willing to hold on to Ross and Cashner, and part with Kennedy, is because both are still arbitration-eligible, while Kennedy will make around $10 million in this, his final year of arbitration eligibility. The Royals and Rangers have both expressed interest in Kennedy according to Fox Sports MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal.
General Manager A.J. Preller, in his first winter on the job, is attempting to find creative and smart ways to increase the offensive productivity for a team that was one of worst hitting teams in the last half century. As a result, hitting coach Phil Plantier was shown the door shortly after the season ended, and a lineup overhaul is hopefully in the works. The team has contacted the agents of Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas, third baseman Pablo Sandoval, and first baseman Adam LaRoche, all of whom who make an immediate impact on the team.
The Padres have plenty of pitching depth from which to deal, and including Kennedy, names like Jesse Hahn, Robbie Erlin, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Casey Kelly could all see time in the rotation next season, not to mention the mutual interest in bringing back John Johnson, who missed the entire season due to his second Tommy John surgery.