Losing ground in chunks to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, the Arizona Diamondbacks traded Ian Kennedy – a 21-game winner two seasons ago – to the San Diego Padres for left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher, a prospect and a draft pick.
Thatcher, a veteran who has been hard on left-handed hitters, mixes into one of the National League’s better bullpens. He had a 2.10 ERA, 29 strikeouts and four walks in 30 innings over 50 appearances for the Padres.
The Diamondbacks will play seven games in September against the Dodgers, who feature lefties Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier in the middle of their batting order, along with Carl Crawford at the top.
Since 2011, when he finished fourth in the NL Cy Young Award balloting, Kennedy has not been as effective. He is 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA this season. He is walking more batters and striking out fewer. For the final two months, the Diamondbacks seem to have decided Kennedy was not one of their best five starters.
Kennedy, at times, has shown he is a capable pitcher, however, and the Padres – short on pitching and in a pitchers’ park – were willing to give him the chance to reclaim that effectiveness.
Padres general manager Josh Byrnes traded for Kennedy once before, in 2009, when he – Byrnes – was general manager of the Diamondbacks and Kennedy was a young New York Yankee. He bought low on him then, as well.
The Diamondbacks also receive Double-A right-hander Matt Stites, 23, and a compensation round draft pick.
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