Perhaps the lone notable move that was made on the actual day of the trade deadline was the trade of Ian Kennedy by the Arizona Diamondbacks to the San Diego Padres in exchange for reliever Joe Thatcher. It was a move that made sense for both sides, but it’s tough not to see a win in it for San Diego.
There were negatives in acquiring Kennedy, sure. But it was a buy-low move. While it might have been looked at in a bit negative of a light, there’s no doubt that the Padres may have gotten a big win in acquiring the veteran starter. He showed that in his first start on Sunday afternoon.
With the Diamondbacks, Kennedy had been posting one of his most disappointing stretches since he made the jump to the National League. His season as a whole was really an unimpressive one, as he sported a 5.23 ERA and a high home run rate. Prior to joining the Padres, he had gone 10 consecutive starts without a win.
That streak was snapped after his first go at it on the bump in San Diego. He wasn’t lights out, but he did finish with a quality start in tossing five and two-thirds, allowing just two earned runs and only four hits. He did walk four batters, but offset that well enough with six punchouts on the afternoon.
It wasn’t a dazzling start, and Kennedy still has a bit of ways to go to regain his form, but it was a positive start for a player that absolutely needed one. Throwing his home games at Petco Park will benefit Kennedy enormously, and we may have seen the start of something good in his first start for the Padres.
Trading a reliever, which the Padres have a surplus of, in exchange for a starter who isn’t a free agent until after the 2016 season is a move that should end up being a win for San Diego. We saw the beginning of that victory on Sunday.