Ian Kennedy Rumors

Red Sox Close To Acquiring Jake Peavy

Jake Peavy was scheduled to start for the White Sox in Cleveland tonight at 6:05pm central time, but the Sox will instead make history by promoting the Majors' first Brazilian native pitcher, Andre Rienzo, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.  Meanwhile,  GM Rick Hahn will be entertaining offers for Peavy, according to Gonzales.  Gonzales notes that even if Peavy is not traded, the Sox will "get a chance to evaluate Rienzo on the major league stage."  Peavy is definitely not starting for the White Sox tonight, confirms Scott Miller of CBS Sports.  The latest:

Earlier Updates

  • The Diamondbacks don't necessarily have to unload multiple contracts to fit Peavy into the payroll, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. However, they're still looking at moving Ian Kennedy, who could draw interest from the Angels, given the fact that Angels GM Jerry Dipoto is a former D'Backs executive.
  • Despite interest from the Red Sox, A's, D'Backs, and Cardinals, the sense is the White Sox are coming down on their asking price for Peavy, tweets Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com.
  • Arizona would be a comfortable destination for Peavy, the righty told reporters including Mark Gonzales today.
  • If the A's are to make a deal for Peavy, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle sees outfielder Michael Choice as the potential centerpiece.  Otherwise, they could add a reliever.  GM Billy Beane says this is the "lowest trade inventory I've seen in years."
  • The D'Backs have emerged as the front runner for Peavy, tweets Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com.
  • The Diamondbacks could make a deal for Peavy if they get a cash adjustment, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney, who notes the strong history with Peavy and GM Kevin Towers.
  • The D'Backs may kick the tires again on Peavy, hears Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The White Sox are now listing Peavy for tomorrow's start against the Indians, for what it's worth.
  • The price for Peavy remains a top 50 prospect in a three or four-player package, hears Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  Sherman does believe Peavy will be traded, ranking the most likely landing spots as the Cardinals, Red Sox, and A's.
  • There are no current discussions between the Cardinals and White Sox on Peavy, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  And the D'Backs say they no longer have interest in Peavy with Brandon McCarthy and Trevor Cahill soon returning, adds Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
  • Yesterday, we heard the White Sox were trying to move Peavy prior to tonight's start.  However, the market for the righty's services became muddled as the Athletics seemingly moved on and the Sox started telling teams they plan to keep Peavy.  Their decision not to start him tonight seems to indicate otherwise.

White Sox, D’Backs, Angels Discussing Three-Team Trade

The White Sox, Angels and Diamondbacks are discussing a three-team trade that would send Jake Peavy to Arizona and Ian Kennedy to Anaheim, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). The Diamondbacks reportedly emerged as the front-runners for Peavy earlier today, and the Angels have been connected to Kennedy as well. Crasnick notes that it's not clear what Chicago would receive in the trade at this time.

Peavy is earning $14.5MM in 2013 and 2014, while Kennedy has about $1.4MM remaining on this year's $4.27MM salary and is controllable through 2015 via arbitration. The D'Backs have been prioritizing pitching help, reportedly kicking the tires on Bud Norris in addition to Peavy. The Angels, meanwhile, view Kennedy as a buy-low candidate that they can control for multiple years, according to reports from earlier today. The White Sox scratched Peavy from his scheduled start tonight earlier today in order to eliminate the risk of an injury that would take a trade off the table.


Angels, Padres Eyeing Ian Kennedy

5:53pm: Arizona's main motivation in moving Kennedy would be to free up some cash to accommodate Jake Peavy's contract, writes Danny Knobler of CBS Sports (which meshes with reports from earlier today). Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona was told by an Angels source that there's no match for Kennedy a few days ago, though he notes how quickly that line of thinking can change (Twitter link).

MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez spoke with a scout from an NL West team who said that Kennedy's stuff is still good. The Halos like Kennedy as a buy-low candidate, according to Gonzalez.

It seems odd that the Diamondbacks would be motivated to move Kennedy's remaining $1.4MM, though they could be focusing more on ways to fit Peavy's 2014 salary into the payroll. Despite his poor season, Kennedy would earn a raise on his $4.27MM salary next year, so clearing him from the books would be a more significant benefit in that sense. Arizona is also reportedly shopping Jason Kubel, who is owed roughly $2.7MM for the remainder of the season.

4:49pm: Earlier today, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports wrote that the Angels could be interested in landing D'Backs right-hander Ian Kennedy, as Halos GM Jerry Dipoto is a former Diamondbacks executive who is very familiar with Kennedy. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports now tweets that the Angels are "hopeful" of landing Kennedy, whom the D'Backs have been shopping recently. Steve Gilbert of MLB.com adds that the Padres are also interested in Kennedy (Twitter link), and Buster Olney of ESPN lists the Cubs as a potential landing place as well (on Twitter).

Kennedy, 28, is a buy-low candidate in the midst of his worst full season at the Major League level. Through 119 innings for the D'Backs, he has a 5.22 ERA with 7.6 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and a 36.2 percent ground-ball rate. Each of those represents the worst full-season mark of Kennedy's career. Kennedy is owed roughly $1.4MM over the remainder of the season and can be controlled through 2015 as an arbitration-eligible player.



Stark On Howie Kendrick, Cubs, D’Backs

ESPN's Jayson Stark begins his latest column with a look at the Biogenesis situation.  As Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported, suspension announcements are not expected today.  Sherman expects the announcements to come Thursday or Friday.  In Stark's opinion, the Rangers are acting like a team that knows what Nelson Cruz will do if suspended, in that their aggressive search for a bat suggests he might serve a suspension now to preserve his free agent value.  Meanwhile, the Tigers' lack of pursuit of a backup plan to shortstop Jhonny Peralta suggests he'll appeal.  Elsewhere in Stark's column:

  • The Dodgers and Angels, who haven't made a trade in 20 years, had a "mostly casual conversation" regarding Halos second baseman Howie Kendrick.  There are no indications a deal is in the works.
  • The Angels are at least listening on infielders Kendrick, Erick Aybar, and Alberto Callaspo, and seeking high quality big league ready pitching in return.
  • The Cubs could move Kevin Gregg and Nate Schierholtz, but are extremely unlikely to trade lefty reliever James Russell and there's just about zero chance of a Jeff Samardzija trade.
  • Pitchers Ian Kennedy and J.J. Putz of the Diamondbacks and Kyle Farnsworth of the Rays "have suddenly been made available."  Trading Kennedy would allow Arizona to clear around $1.4MM toward another move.  Are they that hard up for cash?

Diamondbacks Shopping Kubel, Kennedy

The Diamondbacks have been shopping Jason Kubel and Ian Kennedy, according to Peter Gammons of the MLB Network (on Twitter). Gammons notes that the salary they would save by moving both players still wouldn't be enough to offset the acquisition of Jake Peavy, a favorite of Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers. Both Kubel and Kennedy have struggled in 2013.

Kubel, 31, belted 30 homers last year in his first season with the Snakes, but his overall production masked a dreadful second half. Kubel hit .201/.275/.470 following the All-Star break last season, and he's batting just .234/.312/.356 with five homers this season. He's battled a quad injury that has required two trips to the DL this season in the second year of a two-year, $15MM contract he signed in Decmeber 2011. Kubel's deal also contains a mutual option for 2015.

Kennedy, 28, has a 5.22 ERA with 7.6 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and a 36.2 percent ground-ball rate in 119 innings this season. Each of those represents the worst full-season mark of Kennedy's career, though his primary problem has been struggles with men on base. Kennedy has stranded just 65.9 percent of baserunners this season — a drastic decline from his career mark of 74.9 percent he carried into this season. Kennedy is earning $4.27MM this season and is controlled through the 2015 season as an arbitration-eligible player.


Diamondbacks Notes: Goldschmidt, Towers, Delgado

Here's the latest news from Chase Field…

  • Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers said "there may be" other players he will look into extending this spring, Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona (via Twitter).  Paul Goldschmidt and Ian Kennedy look like the two top candidates for extensions in Magruder's opinion.  The club is already talking to Goldschmidt about a long-term deal and Kennedy agreed to a one-year, $4.265MM deal for 2013 in his first year of arbitration eligibility.  Kennedy and Goldschmidt are under the Diamondbacks' control through the 2015 and 2017 seasons, respectively.
  • Towers said he didn't talk to Goldschmidt's agent from SFX today, Magruder tweets.  Towers didn't have any new details since the two sides met last week.
  • Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link) senses more optimism about a possible Goldschmidt extension than he did last month.  Goldschmidt originally wasn't interested in negotiating when Towers approached him about a multiyear deal earlier this winter.
  • Randall Delgado talks to Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic about being able to focus just on pitching with the D'Backs after being the subject of trade rumors for several months.  Delgado was part of the trade package sent to Arizona from Atlanta in the Justin Upton deal, and last summer the Braves nearly sent Delgado to the Cubs in exchange for Ryan Dempster.  “I heard my name in other rumors before, but this one was like big," Delgado said about the Dempster speculation.  "It was on TV. It was on radio. It was everywhere. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God. I feel like I’m more on that team than here.’

D’Backs, Ian Kennedy Avoid Arbitration

The Diamondbacks avoided arbitration with starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, signing him to a one-year, $4.265MM deal according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  Kennedy is represented by the Boras Corporation.  His salary is very strong for a first-time arbitration eligible starting pitcher, falling just $85K short of the record shared by David Price and Dontrelle Willis, while tying Jered Weaver (and matching Matt Swartz's projection for MLBTR spot-on).  However, the Reds' Mat Latos is expected to pass all of them.

Kennedy, 28, brought a strong first-time resume to the table, with a 3.76 career ERA and 46 wins across 684 regular season innings.  He's under team control through 2015.


NL West Notes: Hudson, Kennedy, Dodgers

The Rockies have never lost 100 games and despite a disappointing season that has them last in the NL West, they'll likely avoid the 100-loss threshold again in 2012. Here's the latest from their division…

  • The Diamondbacks offered Daniel Hudson a contract extension this spring, but didn’t make Ian Kennedy an offer, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. GM Kevin Towers approached both pitchers and expressed interest in discussing long-term contracts. They were instructed to have their agents call Towers if they were interested. Hudson’s agent, Andrew Lowenthal of Proformance, called, but Kennedy’s agent, Scott Boras, did not. “I never heard anything from that, and I took that to mean [Kennedy and Boras] didn’t have interest,” Towers said.
  • The Dodgers’ starting pitchers have an assortment of health issues, so the team could find itself spending on free agent pitching this offseason, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. The Dodgers won’t rely on prospects in 2013, so their “only choice is to spend and spend some more.” Zack Greinke wasn’t one of the team’s midseason targets, but he could appeal to GM Ned Colletti as a free agent.

Diamondbacks Notes: Drew, Hall, Towers

The Diamondbacks enjoy a night off before beginning a weekend interleague series with their rather frequent trade partners, the Athletics.  Here's the latest from the desert…

  • In the wake of D'Backs managing partner Ken Kendrick's critical comments on Tuesday, Stephen Drew told MLB.com's Steve Gilbert that while he "understands Ken's frustration," the shortstop was "disappointed that he questioned my integrity."  Drew said he has been diligently pursuing his rehab and wants to be back on the field as soon as possible.  "I want to be able to play the game that I've loved my whole life again. No one wants me to be out there more than me. I'm doing everything in my power," Drew said.
  • Arizona CEO Derrick Hall addressed a number of topics in a chat with fans on MLB.com, including Kendrick's comments, a possible Trevor Bauer callup and the possibility of signing Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson to contract extensions.  "We have discussions regularly about long-term deals with some of our pitchers. It is to our advantage to lock some of these guys down longer term to keep this group intact," Hall said.  The club explored such deals last winter but couldn't get anything finalized before Opening Day.
  • GM Kevin Towers says it's too early for the Snakes to give up and explore trading veteran players, reports MLB.com's Steve Gilbert.  "I'm always looking at trades, regardless of we're winning or losing or where we're at," Towers said. "I'm looking not only in the near future, but long term as well. I've already kicked some tires on some things. I'm not saying anything is close, but you're always looking, always keeping an eye on down below where your depth is."
  • MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith collected another batch of Diamondbacks notes earlier today.

Platform Years For First-Time Eligible Starters

Clayton Kershaw's salary jumped from $500K to $7.5MM this year, and it wasn't just because of his Cy Young performance. Kershaw qualified for arbitration for the first time in his career over the winter, so he obtained the right to establish his salary by comparing his production to that of his peers.

James McDonald (Pirates) - PW

Though $7MM raises are reserved for elite performers like Kershaw, many first-time eligible starting pitchers will see their salaries rise from $500K or so to $2-4.5MM this coming offseason. A player’s case depends in large part on his career numbers, but his most recent season, or platform year, matters a great deal. 

Advanced statistics like xFIP, wins above replacement and swinging strike rate don't generally figure in to arbitration cases. Instead, traditional stats such as innings, starts, wins and ERA determine players' salaries.

With one third of the season now complete, let’s check in on the prominent starting pitchers on track to be first-time arbitration eligible this coming offseason:

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