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Royals Trade Target: Ian Kennedy

The San Diego Padremporium is open for business! Come see our wares!

He's already got the high-fiving/handshake thing down!
He's already got the high-fiving/handshake thing down!
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

WELCOME! WELCOME! Come on, come on, Dayton Moore! Welcome to the San Diego Padremporium, where you can get your San Diego fix! We have plenty of assets for sale! Unfortunately, some of our assets are sold out, but let me introduce you to our hottest in-stock commodity! Ian Kennedy!

Kennedy is a relatively durable (at least 30 starts every year since 2010) and moderately talented (98 FIP- and 100 xFIP- over the past 3 calendar years) starting pitcher. Those are really in demand right now; I'm sure you know; you have James Shields, another hot commodity. While his past history suggests relative mediocrity, a poor 2013 performance dragged down his numbers. Check out his 2014 stats!

A 25.6% strikeout rate! It's the highest of his career! A 6.9% walk rate, which is a nice complement to the strikeouts. His 3.62 ERA doesn't quite reflect how much better he has been this season, in which he has garnered a 2.98 FIP and a 3.24 xFIP, both squarely better than average. Also notice his consistently low ground ball rate; he would be a perfect fit for the spacious confines of Kauffman stadium. He would also enjoy the services of Alex Gordon, Jarrod Dyson, and Lorenzo Cain roaming the grass behind him. I bet he wouldn't have any problem keeping up his stellar stats in a Royals uni.

In addition to his fantastic stats, Kennedy is more than a mere rental. Kennedy would be under team control through the end of next season and would make somewhere around $8-10M in his final round of arbitration for 2015. I hear that James Shields is looking for a lot more money than that; if you're looking for a replacement, we have a bona fide starter right here for you at a much cheaper rate! It wouldn't take much to acquire him; we gave the Diamondbacks a wet paper towel and a lawnmower to get him. They don't even have lawns in Arizona!

What's that? You need more information? You want to know if anything has changed in the way he goes about his business that might be causing the uptick in performance this year? Well, his velocity is up a bit, but other than using his changeup a bit less and his curveball a bit more, he's basically the same guy. He's getting slightly fewer whiffs with the changeup, but his cutter seems to have picked up the slack. I'd say the velocity increase is helping him out, but I think he's just closer to his true talent level this year compared to last year!

Kennedy could provide value for you right now. He's projected by Steamer for 0.5 fWAR and by ZiPS for 0.8 fWAR for the rest of the season, but that's accurate only if you don't believe that his performance in 2014 isn't for real. Come on, guy, whom will you believe? Historical performance, or me? I bet that Kennedy, with your defense and home ballpark, could provide about a full win in value over the rest of the season. With Shields and Yordano Ventura looking shaky, Jeremy Guthrie giving up lots of baserunners, and Danny Duffy ripe for regression, Kennedy could really help you out for your playoff push. One of those guys will probably perform at a replacement level over the rest of the season; opportunity cost is hardly even a thing! Don't even worry about it!

What have you got to lose?