Padres Rumors: Trade Targets for Ian Kennedy

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Last year Ian Kennedy was one of the San Diego Padres most reliable starting pitchers, and the only one who made it over 200 innings in the season. Coming into 2015, which does happen to be his contract year, he was certainly hoping to repeat his performance and show teams that he was back to being closer to his near Cy Young 2011 self rather than his 2013 Arizona self.

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Unfortunately Kennedy and the Padres as a whole have so far slipped into a season of mediocrity. Kennedy sits at a 4-8 record with an ERA of 4.84. He has already allowed 18 HR after only allowing 16 HR last season. That said – he is a reliable middle of the rotation veteran pitcher who could certainly help teams who are looking to make a move in the pennant races for the second half.

From the Padres perspective, trading Kennedy would not be the “white flag” type of trade that trading Justin Upton would be, and would allow the Padres to bolster their minor league system. In theory, his rotation spot could be filled by the likes of Robbie Erlin or one of the two rehabilitation projects Josh Johnson or Brandon Morrow.

So where might he go? The UT’s Jeff Sanders suggests the Dodgers as possible trade partners, and this move would make sense. Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias have both filled in nicely in the rotation for injured starters Brandon McCarthy and Ryu, but wouldn’t it be nice to know that in a 7 game series you aren’t completely relying on Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Kershaw’s post-season blues have also been well documented. Would the Dodgers give up some of their surplus 3B in Justin Turner or Alex Guerrero? Top prospect Corey Seager continues to knock on the door.

The Yankees are also a possibility and would bring Kennedy back to the team he first broke into the major leagues with. Somehow though I think the Yankees would rather try and pry away a guy like Andrew Cashner or Tyson Ross from the Padres.

Another idea might be the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This would allow him to stay in California and bolster an Angels team still smarting from their playoff exit last year against the Royals. Questions remain about Jered Weaver‘s velocity and his veteran leadership would seem to be a good fit on the club. Could we get a shortstop even like starter Erick Aybar back in trade? It would provide some semblance of stability at the position if not a long-term answer.

With his free agency pending, Kennedy won’t bring too much in trade value, but if the Padres don’t trade him in the next month it is tough to see how much they would even really miss him the remainder of the season. All told we are talking about him missing roughly 13 starts to close out the season, and with James Shields as their ace, if it came down to needing their best three pitchers I’m not even sure Kennedy would fall in that mix right now. Let’s trade Kennedy before we get nothing at all.

What do you guys think, should the Padres trade Kennedy? Who would you trade him to and for whom?

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