A baseball source indicated to MLBTradeRumors.com that the Yankees and Pirates are working on a trade that could be Mike Gonzalez and Nate McLouth for Ian Kennedy and Melky Cabrera. This is backed up by our good friend Jake at Bucco Blog, where Gonzalez, Kennedy, and Cabrera were mentioned in a recent podcast.
Of the four, the player with which I was least familiar was Kennedy. The right-handed starter celebrates his 22nd birthday today. Baseball America ranked Kennedy fifth among Yankee prospects. BA’s John Manuel indicates Kennedy has excellent command with an upper 80s fastball and a sinking changeup. He manages to keep the ball down. Kennedy is still a ways off from the bigs and should start ’07 at high Class A.
I should note that as a 2006 draft pick, Kennedy can’t be traded until one year after he signed, which would be approximately July 15, 2007. Given that a player to be named later must be named six months in advance, the Pirates and Yankees would have to wait about a month to make such a deal official. After speaking to a couple of baseball guys, I can tell you for a fact that there is precedent for agreeing to trades in December involving June draft picks from the same year. Kennedy is fair game for discussion.