Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting the Royals are interested in Padres right-handed starting pitcher Ian Kennedy. Rosenthal notes however, that the Padres may not match up well for a trade since they are looking for offense, and the Royals are not an offense-loaded organization. The Texas Rangers are also reported to be interested in Kennedy, who enters his last year before free agency and will command a salary around $10 million in his final year of arbitration-eligibility.
The 29-year old Ian Kennedy has a 3.93 career ERA in eight seasons with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Padres. Last year he was 13-13 with a 3.63 ERA and 3.21 FIP with 207 strikeouts in 201 inning pitched. He has always been a terrific strikeout pitcher, punching out 8.2 hitters per nine innings. Kennedy suffered a poor 2013 season which led him to be dealt to the Padres for reliever Joe Thatcher, but has otherwise been a very solid pitcher. The Royals were reportedly interested in Kennedy at the trade deadline.
The Padres could use offense, and while the Royals do not have much offense to give, a third baseman like Hunter Dozier could interest them, or perhaps the Padres could see something in California-native Mike Moustakas.
Kennedy joins a long list of starting pitchers the Royals have been rumored to be interested in this winter including Jon Lester, Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson, and Ervin Santana. Today, we learned the Royals are also said to have "checked in" on former Indians pitcher Justin Masterson.