The Padres traded Will Venable to the Rangers tonight, but they almost certainly won’t be dealing another pair of potential free agents; Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that right-handers Ian Kennedy and Joaquin Benoit were both claimed on revocable waivers, but trades couldn’t be reached, so the Padres pulled the pair back.
Kennedy, 30, is a free agent at the end of the season and is owed about $2.58MM of his $9.85MM salary through season’s end. The former Yankees/D-Backs hurler has struggled for much of the season, but he’s been a more appealing trade target of late, working to a 2.82 ERA with a 76-to-23 K/BB ratio in 83 innings dating back to June 1. Kennedy’s been very homer-prone this season (1.9 HR/9), but much of that can be attributed to an abnormally high 18.7 percent homer-to-flyball ratio that is well above his career mark of 10.6 percent.
The 38-year-old Benoit has been one of the better late-inning relief arms in the game over the past few seasons, though there are some possible red flags in his game this year. Though Benoit’s pitched to a stellar 2.13 ERA, his strikeout rate (8.2 K/9) and walk rate (3.0 BB/9) have both gone the wrong direction in 2015, and he’s benefited from a likely unsustainable .163 average on balls in play. Nevertheless, his track record and strong bottom-line results led to a claim despite a relatively substantial salary; Benoit is owed $2.1MM of his $8MM salary through season’s end, to say nothing of a $1MM buyout on an $8MM option for the 2016 season (though some teams were probably interested in exercising that option).
While the waiver claims and retractions technically don’t prevent the pair from being traded, it becomes extremely unlikely that either will be moved now. The Padres can put both players on trade waivers for a second time, but the waivers would no longer be revocable at that point. More likely is the possibility that the Padres are impressed enough with Kennedy’s resurgence that they’re eyeing a draft pick as compensation in the event that he signs elsewhere. Heyman notes that rivals don’t view Kennedy as a surefire qualifying offer candidate, but his recent surge should make it worthwhile for the Padres to extend the roughly $16MM one-year offer. I’d expect that Kennedy, a client of Scott Boras, would decline the offer and test the free agent waters.
Been saying this for over a month now.
The QO picks from Upton and maybe from Kennedy are more valuable to the organization than trading them if they’re only being offered pitching. The mets offered Fulmer and another RHP. The Padres can always find pitching. Having 5 picks before the 3rd round to draft positions of need > pitching being offered. Unless they’re blown away with pitching to deal Upton or Kennedy they’d rather have the QO.
As for Benoit they’ll exercise the club option and if they trade Kimbrel he’s the closer or 7th/8th inning guy with Maurer being the closer. Trading him wasn’t necessary.
The Mets definitely didn’t want Kennedy. Kennedy isn’t even a surefire QO candidate so if Preller isn’t committed to giving him one he should have just traded him to the highest bidder at the deadline.
He means for Upton.
Out of place Met fan
Have to think a solid AA prospect is more valuable than the 35th pick. Teams should never draft based on need.
Kennedy should not get a QO, unless they hope to resign him at a depressed market rate.
Like I said below, since Preller didn’t trade Kennedy he really doesn’t have a choice.
The Padres do need catchers, ss, 3rd, and 1st. Not in that order. Within their 1st picks they have to knab a high quality player of 2 out of 4 of the positions even if they reach a little. Hitters aren’t lining up to come play at petco.
Even if it means knab bing the best hitter and trying them at those positions they need hitters.
Since Preller didn’t trade Kennedy or Benoit at the deadline, he really has no choice. He HAS to extend Kennedy a QO and exercise Benoit’s club option for 2016.
A QO this offseason will be somewhere in the $14M range. He’s getting just a tick under $10, which is probably closer to his actual value if not a little high. He’s not a candidate for a QO. I’m expecting them to try to re-sign him to a 3-4 year deal at about what he’s getting paid now.
Benoit has an $8M club option with a $1.5M buyout. That’s the more interesting decision. I think he’s been on the decline this year but he’s been getting a lot of lucky outs. I’d love to see him moved before the end of the season. If he sticks around, he might get that option picked up just because of the sunk cost in the buyout.
If Kennedy isn’t getting a QO then Preller needed to trade him to the highest bidder at the deadline. Trading him at the deadline does not bar us from signing him in the offseason. He is a Boras client so there’s a good chance he declines a QO anyway.
As for Benoit, Preller is definitely going to pick up his option otherwise he would have just let the claiming team have Benoit. Either way, I’d prefer to see him traded cuz he’s getting old and has an unusually low BABIP this year. He was claimed on waivers so there’s definitely demand.