The dust has settled a bit since the trade deadline rolled past, but there’s still plenty of analysis to be done. It’s tough to make an assessment of a player in his new surroundings after such a short time, but it’s already looking like the San Diego Padres may have gotten a steal in acquiring Ian Kennedy.
Kennedy had been struggling mightily with the Arizona Diamondbacks this season. His ERA was up over five, his strikeout numbers were down, and his walks were up. A change of scenery seemed a necessity, and the Diamondbacks were looking for a bit of salary relief.
Which led to the deal to send him within the division, to the Padres, who were more than happy to oblige. Acquiring Kennedy not only gave him a change of scenery, but set him up for success in a park that serves as a pitcher’s paradise. Through his first two starts, we’ve seen immediate results.
Kennedy’s first start with the Pads was a success, as he pitched into the sixth inning and only allowed two earned runs. His second start flashed a bit more of what he can do, as he was downright dominant. He allowed only two runs over eight innings, but for 7.1 of that, he was almost impossible to hit. He allowed only one hit over that span before surrendering a home run towards the end of his outing.
What he’s shown in two starts is that he is starting to return to that form he demonstrated in his last two seasons with the Diamondbacks. Which should make him a steal for the Padres after surrendering Joe Thatcher, a minor leaguer, and a draft pick to acquire him.
Ultimately, while a reliever like Thatcher will prove an asset to the Diamondbacks, arms at the front end of the rotation are a premium in this league. With one under team control for the next couple of years, and in trading a reliever, a position where they had a surplus, the Padres may have gotten a steal in acquiring Ian Kennedy.