Pirates in on Ian Kennedy, Who Might Not Be Moved

Most of the rumors over the last 24 hours have surrounded Jon Lester. But it doesn’t look like the Pittsburgh Pirates are limiting their pitching search to just the Red Sox lefty. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Pirates are one of the teams in on Padres’ starting pitcher Ian Kennedy.

Rosenthal says that Kennedy isn’t certain to be moved. This isn’t the first time that the Pirates have been connected to Kennedy. They scouted him a few weeks ago. The Padres haven’t committed to dealing him, even after dealing Huston Street and a few other players.

Kennedy is making $6.1 M this year, and is putting up some strong numbers on the mound. He had a down year last year, but seems to be back on track, with a 3.66 ERA in 135.1 innings, along with a 9.5 K/9 and a 2.8 BB/9. I project his trade value to be $13.6 M, using the $9.5 M/WAR figure from the Jeff Samardzija trade. That’s not too far off the trade value for Lester. Kennedy wouldn’t be as good as Lester, but you’d be getting him for one extra year, rather than just two months. Lester would be the bigger upgrade in 2014, but Kennedy would provide a nice upgrade for the 2015 season.

The Padres have been saying they need to be overwhelmed to deal Kennedy.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Mountaineer10

    Tim, how do you think the pirates would handle the rotation if they were to acquire another starter. With Cole on the way back, they’re already going to half to take someone out that is pitching fairly well. Right now they have 5 quality middle of the rotation guys but no true ace. The only move I would make is to get a bona fide ace like Lester. But someone still has to come out. I’d hate to see Locke or Worley go because they are under team control past this season. Same with Morton. That leaves Liriano and Volquez. Are they the ones that come out in your opinion?

    • Tony Ventimiglio

      Locke goes to AAA or the Pen. Volquez could go to the pen. Liriiano has been dominant for the last 3 starts. He is the Ace we have now.

    • cmat0829

      IMHO, MUCH TOO MUCH is made of the ‘who goes if player X comes here’ stuff. It happens. Cardinals acquire Masterson, who is marginal, and jettison one of the guys currently in their rotation (Kelly? Miller?). IF they have to send Eddy or Worley to the pen or Locke to AAA, it happens. All the time.

  • Kenny Moore

    We need pitching. As long as Glasnow and Bell are not moved I could live with losing any of the rest.

  • Wilbertmatthewsw

    I think that, while I like Kennedy, our core staff of Cole and Morton are righties, and our most fragile starters, locke and lariano, are lefties, i would rather chase a lefty starter

  • letsgobucs22

    Kennedy was scratched from his last start with an oblique injury. He’s scheduled to pitch on Saturday after throwing a bullpen session and saying he felt fine, but Cole said the same thing after a similar injury against Philly. Buyer Beware!

    • mam995

      The Padres asked the Yankees for first rounders Ian Clarkin and Eric Jagielo in exchange for Kennedy, who is a former Yankee first round pick that THEY gave up on. I find that so refreshingly ironic.Now they NEED him. Last year, they could have gotten him for a bag of marbles. It just goes to show you how volatile the market is. The Rays are asking St Louis for Oscar Taveras, Shelby Miller and a supplemental first round pick in exchange for David Price. Wow!!! The Phillies asked the Dodgers for either Joc Peterson or Cory Seager or BOTH for Cole Hammels. On top of that…they will only eat $10 million of his $ 80 million salary. Either the market has gone totally mad..completely insane or these teams are really into playing poker face. It feels like an arms race. I do hope that the Pirates don’t fall prey for this lack of detente. After all of the Pirates have gone through,I just hate to see them give away prospects that could help them in the future. I hated them giving away Blake Taylor. I don’t even want to see them give away Jacoby Jones…too much potential to be a power hitting shortstop. For a rental no less. I wish they had traded for Left hander Felix Doubront who was traded to the Cubs today. The Pirates could have fixed him. Anyway, you don’t see the Cardinals giving away top talent. You don’t see the Rays giving top talent. I think that the Pirates just need to keep acquiring as much talent as they can If you look at these trade proposals…having good prospects is like having gold in the bank. It’s the smartest thing that a team can do…but you can’t let someone fleece you. I watched the Met’s Zack Wheeler pitch the other night. He is going to be something special. The Giants will RUE the day that they gave him up. Now they NEED him. Even though, they won the WS. I know that’s the goal…but man, they paid dearly. So if the Pirates trade away their top prospects …they’d better win the WS. Because it will hurt for years to look at those players if they become stars. Every time I see Aramis Ramirez…I wince.

  • cmat0829

    Don’t you just LOVE these trade deadline ‘titles’ and tweets and blogs? Look at the headline, “Pirates are in on Kennedy who Might not be moved”. Really?? Just like ESPN and it’s headlines with question marks, modern media is becoming a tabloid. Say anything you want, cover your ass, and try to be first. Being wrong is ok.

    Of course Kennedy might not be moved. Or he might be. Is that really worth a headline? Can’t we keep it at Pirates expressed interest in Kennedy. It’s fine the article to disclaim that the Padres have not indicated they will definitely trade Kennedy and are in no pressure to do so.

    Also, I LOVE the tweets that the Mets are ‘going to stand pat’. They are delusional to not be sellers and if a seller decides to hold on to bloated 41-year-old pitchers and roseter flotsam and jetsum, it would never accurately be called “Standing Pat”.

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