It is not a secret the front office would like to add at least one starting pitcher to the organization. And the Cubs have been exploring ways to add depth to a starting rotation that is rather thin right now.
According to a report from Bruce Levine, the Cubs “are hoping to add a starting pitcher such as Ian Kennedy or Scott Kazmir to the rotation.” Reports suggested two years ago the Cubs tried to trade for Kennedy before he was dealt from Arizona to San Diego, so it would make sense the front office has looked into Kennedy.
The Cubs have already been connected to three pitchers currently in the Padres’ rotation, RHP Tyson Ross, RHP Andrew Cashner and RHP James Shields. It is believed A.J. Preller will move at least one starter prior to the deadline and he would be willing to trade either one of the four starting pitchers in the right deal.
Ian Kennedy is a free agent at the end of the season. And while his numbers do not look good, Kennedy has pitched better outside of San Diego this year than at PETCO Park (2-4 in eight starts with a 6.18 ERA and 1.35 WHIP).
Kennedy is 2-5 in eight road starts with a 3.80 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. Kennedy has given up 25 runs, 19 earned, on 48 hits with 11 walks and 38 strikeouts in 45 innings. And of the 20 home runs he has served up this year, eight of those have been hit on the road. Kennedy seemed to right the ship in June (2-2 in six starts with a 2.31 ERA and 1.14 WHIP), but he is 0-2 in his last two starts (Cardinals and Rangers) with a 5.23 ERA and 1.35 WHIP.
Ian Kennedy missed time early in the season (April 10-25) with a strained left hamstring.
Outside of two seasons, Ian Kennedy has not pitched near the expectations that were placed on him coming up in the Yankees system after he was taken in the first round of the 2006 draft. Kennedy was 21-4 in 33 starts for the Diamondbacks in 2011 with a 2.88 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 3.22 FIP. And last season, he posted a 13-13 record in 33 starts with a 3.63 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 3.21 FIP.
The positive as far as the Cubs are concerned is that Kennedy has pitched better on the road the last two years than in the pitcher friendly PETCO Park. And he has completed more than 200 innings in three of the last four seasons and totaled 181 1/3 innings between the Padres and Diamondbacks in 2013.
Ian Kennedy is owed the remainder of his $9.85 million salary for this season and is represented by Scott Boras. Kennedy turns 31 in December.
If the front office finds the right deal, a starting pitcher will be added to the roster. And in the meantime, if the pitcher is available he will be mentioned as an option for the Cubs.