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Ian Kennedy Rumors
The Diamondbacks have an eviable amount of young pitching both at the Major League and minor league level, but don't expect two those young arms to sign long-term contract extensions anytime soon. GM Kevin Towers told reporters (including Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic) that he doesn't expect to get deals done with Ian Kennedy or Daniel Hudson (Twitter links).
"I don't anticipate anything happening with them before the start of the season," said the GM according to Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com (on Twitter).
Kennedy, 27, currently has a better case for a large payday than the 25-year-old Hudson thanks to his 21-win season and fourth place finish in the NL Cy Young voting last year. Advanced metrics see very little difference between the two, however. Kennedy had a 2.88 ERA in 2011 but a 3.22 FIP and 5.0 WAR in 222 innings. Hudson's 3.49 ERA was backed by a 3.28 FIP and 4.9 WAR in the exact same number of innings, 222.
Towers said he might look into extensions for his two young hurlers earlier this month. Kennedy is under team control through 2015, Hudson through 2016. We've looked at both players as extension candidates in the past.
Here's the latest from the NL West…
- The Padres' contract extension with Cameron Maybin is a good deal for both parties, writes Fangraphs' Mike Axisa.
- Jeff Moorad's purchase of the Padres could be finalized on March 12 when MLB's ownership committee and executive council hold meetings, reports Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Sullivan hears "the Padres have completed the process of responding to baseball’s questions" following a January owners' meeting when Moorad's latest attempt to complete his purchase wasn't addressed due to what Bud Selig referred to as "economic concerns."
- The Diamondbacks renewed the contracts of Josh Collmenter, David Hernandez, Ian Kennedy and Gerardo Parra for 2012, the team announced Saturday. Between these renewals and agreeing to terms with 15 other players, Arizona now has its entire 40-man roster under contract for the coming season.
- The Dodgers also announced the signings of all their players with less than three years of Major League experience, with Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times specifying that A.J. Ellis will earn $490K in 2012 and Javy Guerra will earn $488K.
- CBS and MSG are each considering investing in one of the groups bidding to buy the Dodgers as a path to obtaining the team's broadcast rights, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Both networks would use the Dodgers as the foundation for a regional sports network. With CBS, MSG, Time Warner and current rights-holders FOX all interested in Dodgers programming, the club looks well-positioned for a multi-billion dollar TV contract, perhaps even topping the Angels' recent 20-year, $3 billion deal with FOX.
Here's a look at some items from around the league on this Friday evening..
- Catcher Jason Varitek hopes to remain with the Red Sox in some capacity, but it may take him some time to determine an appropriate role, writes Jerry Spar of WEEI.com.
- When Kevin Towers was asked specifically about extensions for Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson, the Diamondbacks GM didn’t nix the idea, writes Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic. Towers hasn’t talked to the agents for either player yet but suggested that he might feel them out to see if there is interest in a long-term deal.
- The Angels' Mark Trumbo has been the subject of trade rumors for the bulk of the offseason, but the slugger appears to be settling in at third base nicely, writes Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. A January poll showed that MLBTR readers think that the Halos should look to deal Kendrys Morales before Trumbo.
- Jeff Suppan wants to pitch for as long as he can, but isn't yet sure if that will extend beyond 2012, writes Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. The veteran inked a minor league deal with the Padres this winter.
- Craig Kimbrel’s salary is the highest ever for a Braves player with less than two years of service time but the pitcher is well worth it, writes David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Winning the National League Rookie of the Year and receiving votes for Cy Young and Rolaids Relief Man awards took Kimbrel’s salary from $419K in 2011 to $590K in 2012.
- The Cubs will sit down and discuss a deal with Matt Garza, GM Jed Hoyer told David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com. "We're hoping to get something worked out, but you never know and we'll keep it private when we do," Hoyer said. Garza also expressed enthusiasm about an extension, a possibility I discussed during the offseason.
- Ian Kennedy is open to a possible extension with the Diamondbacks, Steve Gilbert of MLB.comreports. The pre-arbitration eligible right-hander said agent Scott Boras hasn't discussed a deal with the team, as far as he knows.
- Asdrubal Cabrera said he doesn't want to jump from team to team and hopes to finish his career in Cleveland, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer reports. The Indians have discussed an extension with Cabrera, who is set to earn $4.55MM in 2012.
- When the Royals announced major contractual news yesterday, many assumed Alex Gordon had signed an extension. The outfielder says there's "nothing new" on that front, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. The extension went to catcher Salvador Perez, in case you missed it.
- Texas assistant GM Thad Levine joined Mike Ferrin and Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio and said the Rangers and Josh Hamilton have a different idea of what a long-term deal would mean (via Bowden on Twitter).
- David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News wonders if a five-year, $65MM extension might make sense for the Phillies and Shane Victorino right now. The outfielder is scheduled to hit free agency after the 2012 season.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs examines the Molina deal and decides that the Cardinals' decision looks better upon close examination. Cameron explains that Molina is a premium player, even though he's not signing at a bargain rate by any stretch.
It's not often that we see a trade where both sides end up happy, so a three-team trade where all parties end up pleased with their end are rare. A year and a half later, I think it's safe to the say the Diamondbacks, Tigers, and Yankees are all happy with their haul from last winter's Curtis Granderson-Max Scherzer-Ian Kennedy-Edwin Jackson (plus others) swap. Many questioned Arizona's motives behind the trade, but as Joe Pawlikowski of FanGraphs recently explained, it's the deal that keeps on giving for them.
Kennedy was everything the Diamondbacks could have hoped for in the first year after the trade, giving them 32 starts and 194 innings with a 3.80 ERA last season. His peripheral stats were strong as well: 7.79 K/9, 3.25 BB/9, 4.33 FIP, and 2.4 wins above replacement. Kennedy's second year in Arizona has gone even better; his 3.38 ERA is supported by a 3.50 FIP, and he's maintained a similar strikeout rate (7.58 K/9) while lowering his walk rate (2.35 BB/9) and increasing his ground ball rate (40.5%). After just 112 1/3 innings, he's already provided his team 2.3 wins above replacement.
Let's compare Kennedy to one of his peers at a similar point of their career…
Romero signed a five-year contract worth $30.1MM last August, a deal that also includes an option for a sixth year. It bought out his last remaining pre-arbitration year, all three arbitration-eligible seasons, and at least one free agent season. The Diamondbacks have Kennedy under team control through 2015, and he won't be eligible for arbitration until the 2013 season. A five-year deal would buy out the same years of his career as Romero's deal, and it would still allow Kennedy to hit the free agent market at age 31, young enough to land one more big contract.
It's worth mentioning that both Yovani Gallardo and Jon Lester received similar five-year contracts worth $30MM or so, the kind of deal Kennedy has set himself up for when you adjust for inflation. There's no pressure on the D'Backs to sign their young right-hander to a long-term deal now, but doing so could save the team some major bucks down the line.
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.
With the Cactus League in full swing, let's check out some news about the team that plays in Arizona year-round…
- The Diamondbacks renewed the contracts of Ian Kennedy and Juan Miranda for the 2011 season, according to a team press release. This means the club couldn't agree to terms on a one-year contract with either pre-arbitration player. Madison Bumgarner, Tommy Hanson and Jason Berken are a few of the notable pre-arb players who have settled for renewals this spring.
- The Snakes were pretty roundly criticized for not getting enough in return for Dan Haren last summer, but Tyler Skaggs (one of the prospects Arizona acquired in the deal with the Angels) tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he wants to "prove people wrong, to show people that I'm worth the trade." Skaggs, 19, was the 40th overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft, and he has a 3.16 ERA, a 4.26 K/BB ratio and a 9.3 K/9 rate in two minor league seasons.
- Piecoro also comments on the recent Michael Young talks between the D'Backs and Rangers, saying he is "being told not to expect it to happen." Piecoro thinks even if the Rangers agree to pay most of Young's $48MM salary over the next three years, the D'Backs will still have to pay some of it, and "wouldn’t that money be better spent on the draft or on international signings?" Piecoro also doesn't think the Diamondbacks should deal away young players for Young, except for possibly Brandon Allen, "whom they don’t seem to value anyway."
One GM tells Jon Heyman of SI.com that there are plenty of complementary pieces available on the trade market, but few impact players. That echoes what Theo Epstein said earlier in the week: there’s not a ton of All-Star caliber talent available at the moment. Here's what Heyman is reporting on the market for starting pitchers:
- One general manager hears that interim GM Jerry DiPoto is asking for two starters plus bullpen help in exchange for Dan Haren. Wow.
- Another GM says every member of the D’Backs is available “except Justin Upton and maybe Ian Kennedy.”
- No team appears willing to commit to the $25MM or so remaining on Roy Oswalt’s contract. Some GMs believe Oswalt wants his 2012 option picked up at $16MM if he is traded.
- A few GMs believe the Mets make sense as a destination for Ted Lilly.
- One GM doesn’t get the impression that the Blue Jays would move young starters like Shaun Marcum.
- People connected to the Cubs expect manager Lou Piniella to retire after the season when his contract expires. Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg could replace Piniella as Cubs skipper.
The D’Backs will consider trading anyone but Justin Upton and Ian Kennedy, as they evaluate the best way to turn the team around, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Heyman hears that owner Ken Kendrick, president Derrick Hall and GM Josh Byrnes are in the midst of meetings to determine the best course of action for the 24-37 team. Last week, Hall told the Arizona Republic that he was open to changes given the club’s disappointing start.
Upton and Kennedy will not be dealt, and Mark Reynolds is likely to stay, but the D’Backs would consider moving others. They would listen on Dan Haren, though the club might prefer to keep him if they believe they can contend in the near future. Adam LaRoche and Kelly Johnson are possible trade candidates for GM Josh Byrnes, who admits he has to consider trades.
Byrnes has been fighting hard to keep manager A.J. Hinch around, according to Heyman. Hinch, who had never managed before taking over the club last year, does not make a seven-figure salary, so the D’Backs could fire him without having to absorb too much money. And the man who hired Hinch? Heyman reports that no one realistically expects Byrnes to be in the line of fire.
WEDNESDAY, 2:35pm: This deal is official, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
TUESDAY, 1:24pm: As chronicled here, a three-team blockbuster trade has been agreed upon between the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Tigers. The players:
- The Yankees receive center fielder Curtis Granderson, who turns 29 in March. Granderson is owed $5.5MM in 2010, $8.25MM in '11, and $10MM in '12, with a $13MM club option/$2MM buyout for '13. That's $25.75MM guaranteed over the next three years. Melky Cabrera could now be expendable for the Yankees, and the Cubs are one possible suitor.
- The Diamondbacks receive a pair of starting pitchers: Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy. Jackson, 26, is under team control for '10 and '11 and is owed an arbitration raise on this year's $2.2MM salary. Kennedy, 25 this month, missed most of the '09 season due to surgery to remove an aneurysm near his shoulder. As far as I can tell he is under team control for another six seasons. This is the second year in a row Jackson has been traded at the Winter Meetings.
- The Tigers receive four players: starter Max Scherzer, relievers Daniel Schlereth and Phil Coke, and center fielder Austin Jackson. The Tigers get five years of Scherzer, six of Schlereth, five of Coke, and six of Jackson, potentially 22 years of control in total. Scherzer, 25, and Jackson, 23 in February, are probably considered the prizes of the haul.
Some links on this Friday evening:
- Daniel Barbarisi of The Providence Journal talks about the Red Sox shortstop search and concludes that Marco Scutaro is their best option. The article mentions a few other possibilities, including Brewers infielder Felipe Lopez. The 30-year-old is coming off of a career year but hasn't played shortstop regularly since 2007, when he posted a UZR/150 of -12.3.
- In a column for CBSSports.com, Larry Dobrow lays out his suggestions for the Brewers this winter. Dowbrow urges the club to lay the groundwork for a Prince Fielder deal and cash in their trade chips, Corey Hart and Mat Gamel.
- Hey American League fans, ever wonder what Jim Bowden would do if he were your team's GM? Well, wonder no more because with the help of his Amazing Technicolor Dreamtie, he lays out the moves he would make for several AL teams for FOX Sports. Amongst other things, Bowden pushes the Yankees to beat Boston to the punch and deal Joba Chamberlain, Brett Gardner, and Ian Kennedy to the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay.