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Royals looking at Padres pitcher Ian Kennedy

FOX Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal says the Royals are looking at the pitcher and keeping "all options open."

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals continue to surface in trade rumors as buyers with another new name popping up today. Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal says the Royals have scouted Padres pitcher Ian Kennedy.

While the Royals biggest need would seem to be offense, this report is consistent with earlier reports that had the Royals at least exploring the option of trading for pitchers David Price of Jeff Samardzija. The thinking may be that either Danny Duffy or Yordano Ventura may wear down as the season continues, causing them to move to the bullpen. A new starting pitcher can replace them and replace James Shields in 2015 when Big Game James leaves as a free agent. Another possibility is that the Royals acquire a starting pitcher, then use one of their current starters as a trade chip to land a bat.

Kennedy is a 29-year old right-hander in his eighth Major League season. He has been 7-9 with a 3.62 ERA for the Padres, but a 2.98 FIP, with over a strikeout per inning. The Padres bought Kennedy low last year, acquiring him from Arizona for left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher and minor leaguer Matt Stites. Kennedy's best season was in 2011 when he won 21 games with a 2.88 ERA, but he has been inconsistent since then. Kennedy originally began his career with the Yankees.

Ian earns about $2 million the remainder of the season and will likely earn $8-10 million in arbitration next year, becoming a free agent after the season. The Angels were heavily pursuing Kennedy recently, but with the acquisition of closer Huston Street, they likely no longer have the assets to acquire another pitcher. The Orioles and Pirates are two other clubs rumored to be scouting the pitcher.