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chicago cubs logoWell here’s a fun, different wrinkle for this year’s Trade Deadline activities …

The Arizona Diamondbacks are in the market for a starting pitcher – they’ve been mentioned as frontrunners for Jake Peavy – but they’re also in the market to trade a starting pitcher. The team has had a glut of decent pitchers for a while now, and is reportedly shopping Ian Kennedy around the league, in part to open up some payroll space to take on someone like Peavy.

Kennedy, 28, is having a down year (5.22 ERA, 2.24 K/BB (each way down for him versus recent years)), and is poised to get a bump from his $4.265 million salary in arbitration next year, his second of three arbitration years. He looks like something of a “buy low” opportunity for a team that can afford to take him on, both financially, and if he struggles the rest of this year.

Hmm, what team might be in a position to do that?

Well, Buster Olney says it could be the Cubs (mentioned together with the Angels and Padres), and it doesn’t sound like Olney is just connecting dots. If the price was right – read: minimal prospect return – there’d be no reason for the Cubs not to explore Kennedy. The Cubs are still in accumulation mode, especially when it comes to big league level or big league ready pitching. Kennedy could present an interesting option for the Cubs in 2014, depending on what they do with the rest of the rotation.

Before you go nuts, could Kennedy be part of a larger deal involving Jeff Samardzija (in whom the Diamondbacks are believed to have interest)? In essence, the Diamondbacks give up prospects to “trade up” to Samardzija, since he offers similar team control? Sure, it’s possible in the sense that anything is possible, and there’s some internal logic there. But a Samardzija deal remains so unlikely that I’m just not going to go there.

For now, let’s just assume this is much simpler: there’s a team that appears very motivated to unload Kennedy, and he appears to be something of an interesting buy low candidate that the Cubs could actually use. He’s just a year removed from back-to-back solid seasons (one of which – 2011 – was fantastic).

Of course, the Diamondbacks will likely sell him as the guy he was in 2011, so these things tend not to be as simple as they appear. Further, if you’re the Cubs, unless the Diamondbacks absolutely have to move Kennedy before they can do whatever else they want to do at the Deadline (and will sell him super cheaply for that reason), there’s really no rush to make this move now, as opposed to after the season.

If the Diamondbacks are looking to deal Kennedy for something that helps them this year, however, the Cubs are a tough fit (unless it’s to get a prospect or two that are spun off). The Diamondbacks could definitely use help in the pen, but Kevin Gregg isn’t the guy. Maybe James Russell is a possibility, but I’m not so sure he doesn’t have more value, when considering contracts, than Kennedy. I’d have to think on that for a bit.

  • Hawks

    I hope they don’t pick him up right after I dropped him in my Fantasy Baseball keeper league..

  • http://twitter.com Jake

    This is intresting

  • X the Cubs Fan

    Cubs should offer either Russell or Strop and see if that would get it done.

    • terencemann

      I don’t know if anybody really wants Strop but Russell seems like a good idea to start.

  • Vulcan

    I would love this acquisition. Do it, if possible.

  • DrReiCow

    Please oh please oh please oh please oh please.. I’d love for us to bring in an interesting major leaguer!

    Moo

  • Jed Jam Band

    Russell definitely has more value than this. I would say float BJax out there, maybe a Ransom or Navarro type, see if the deal gets done.

    • Rebuilding

      More value than Kennedy? I don’t think so, he’s just 28 and 2 years removed from finishing 4th for the Cy Young

      • Jed Jam Band

        Oh, Kennedy has more value, don’t get me wrong. But I think the FO will attempt to get that price down from Russell.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          I would trade Russell for Kennedy straight-up in a heartbeat. We need starters for the next couple years, and, unless injured, Kennedy will probably get closer to his normal self next years. We also could afford to use him lightly, or rest him this year if he needs recovery time.

          • willis

            Hell yes. Russell for anything at this point, and if you can get a decent starter for him? Damn right that would be a good trade.

  • Ivy Walls

    The MSM’s common black & white narrative as in ‘buyers’ and ‘sellers’, has got to stop. Each club is in a process of continuous improvement, now that improvement might be many things, immediate talent at the MLB level or increase of talent inventory at the developmental level, other clubs are seeking to improve their risk or liability or create more roster flexibility or merely improve their P/L position.

    As you said Cubs are in accumulation mode and trading an asset that the club does not plan to use at a MLB level for risk related asset needed or providing an option in the near term is improvement, same as acquiring four prospects for a TOR starter going FA.

    • TWC

      Yeah. It’s the main-stream media. Because no front office member, blogger, or kid on the corner has ever referred to teams as “buyers” vs. “sellers” at the trade deadline. Because it’s totally unreasonable to look at a losing team’s trade of an established veteran to a team in the playoff hunt in return for prospects as a “selling off” of big-league assets. Nope. Total main-stream media fabrication.

  • jpeck

    The last time I remember the Cubs adding during a sell-of year is the year that they picked up Rondell White. Anybody…. Anybody….. or are you guys too young?

    • Rebuilding

      I was fired up to get Rondell White. Tons of talent, but leg injuries really kept him from reaching his full potential

    • Jp3

      The human injury Rondell white? That dude was perineally 2 things 1) .300 hitter 2) injured

      • jpeck

        I think he played for a different team every year once the Cubs grabbed him. I’m remembering Twins, Yanks, Detroit…. I think he started in Montreal

      • Ryan Tully

        Great trade at the time. Wish he would have stayed healthy. Scott Downs turned into a pretty good relief pitcher and still pitching well.

    • Patrick G

      I was stoked when they made that trade

  • Cubsfan2436

    Yeah uh Ian Kennedy if we gave up nothing for hi.m. Buy him low and have coaches work with. We better be buy low and giv up much

    • Pee Wee Herman

      Agreed. We should only acquire Ian Kennedy if its for buy-low and as long as we don’t give up much to get him.

      • Cheese Chad

        That is kind of the narrative behind buy-low right? (someone’s gotta be the smart-ass)

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Would Mike Olt work for Kennedy?

      • gocatsgo2003

        Kidding, right?

        • Mr. B. Patient

          Yes. Kidding.

      • Pee Wee Herman

        Don’t be an idiot

        • Mr. B. Patient

          With all of the wacky trade proposals made here in the last few weeks, you’re calling me an idiot?

          • Pee Wee Herman

            Yes you are idiot for proposing that. I’m not even trolling you or fishing for a response.

            • TWC

              Just resorting to childish name calling, apparently.

              • Pee Wee Herman

                I call it as I see it.

                • Danny Ballgame

                  Let us not take the words of a person using the name Pee Wee Herman seriously

                • North Side Irish

                  Considering his screen name, I believe the proper response would be “I know you are but what am I?”

                  • Danny Ballgame

                    The old rubber and glue line

        • TWC

          You can disagree without resorting to “you’re an idiot”, you know? Especially, you know, if you take a moment to wonder, “gee, perhaps that was sarcasm.”

          • Mr. B. Patient

            Thanks, TWC.

          • Patrick W.

            Well the other thing is that people act as if idiotic things don’t happen ALL THE TIME in Baseball. July 23, 2003: Pittsburgh Pirates trade Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton to the Chicago Cubs for Jose Hernandez, Matt Bruback and Bobby Hill.

            • TWC

              Gee, that was 10 years ago.

              Wow.

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    Kennedy’s healthy factors: he’s kept his release point in line with career – unlike a few other pitchers recently (Nolasco, Lincecum were at 100%, basically all release/mechanics gone).

    [img]http://www.baseballheatmaps.com/graph/cache/1p3juoe6r98pgecikv9g2qr1j3injuryindex.png[/img]

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      Throwing FB strikes:
      [img]http://www.baseballheatmaps.com/graph/cache/1p3juoe6r98pgecikv9g2qr1j3zonepercentage.png[/img]

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        And his velocity has maintained recently:
        In short, he’s not a bad pickup based on these parameters.
        [img]http://www.baseballheatmaps.com/graph/cache/1p3juoe6r98pgecikv9g2qr1j3averagespeed.png[/img]

  • Adamae24

    Should totally do it for a non prospect and take on the costs. Good opportunity to take on a potential mid rotation guy

  • Pee Wee Herman

    Not sure I’d even give up a top 10 or maybe even a top 20 in our system for Kennedy. Give them a bunch of fringe prospects for him

  • nkniacc13

    Depending on what cubs plan is with Cabrera and Villianueva it could be a very smart pick up

    • Pee Wee Herman

      No way. Ian Kennedy is not worth Alberto Cabrera.

      • nkniacc13

        I didn’t say that I said if they knew what their plan was. If Cabrera was a starter then doesn’t make sense but if they are going to put him in the bullpen the cubs have a starter spot open to go after Ian

        • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

          Cabrera will start games in Iowa next year. I think Grimm just may be a reliever.

          The 4 & 5 spots are up for grabs next year, unless we acquire Kennedy. Then, the 5 spot is up for grabs between Arrieta, Rusin, and Loux.

          • nkniacc13

            Cabrera doesn’t have a option next year so it Chicago or a trade because they will lose him trying to get him through waivers

      • Coop

        Really? An established MLB pitcher, who only 2 years ago finished 4th in Cy Young voting is not worth a *pitching prospect* who some have projected might only be a BP arm? Sure, I like Cabrera and see some potential, but let’s not continue to overvalue prospects – that’s all they are. You are hoping Cabrera becomes an established MLB pitcher…

        • Mr. B. Patient

          This ^^^^

          • nkniacc13

            Don’t forget you have Villianeuva that could be that 4th starter if you don’t trade him or go get Kennedy

        • Hansman1982

          I have a feeling this offseason is going to upset A LOT of folks.

          • MichiganGoat

            Just like every other off season

            • Hansman1982

              *cough* Nate Schierholtz *cough*

              That is very true, just for different reasons, I suppose.

              • VegasGoat

                Yep, I feel like people are under the assumption that Schierholtz could land us a player of Tyler Glasnow

                • VegasGoat

                  Well I feel like the trade season brings in more and more new readers to the site every year. I feel like a lot of people join the message board during the rumor season as well and then go away once it passes.

                  I feel like those fans tend to be the ones who will be more disappointed by the deadline return and are more likely to throw out bizarre or highly unlikely trade scenarios.

                  I’m not new to this site BTW. Daily reader for last 3 years

          • Vulcan

            Meh. Every fan base has it’s fair share of unrealistic fans.

            • VegasGoat

              I feel like if your reading BN your a pretty big Cubs fan and a more baseball educated then then the casual fan.

      • BlameHendry

        seriously? Cabrera isn’t worth Kennedy.

  • Andrew

    I guess in that case I’d have to root for the dbacks to pick up a guy like Peavy. Or make things real interesting and work a 4 team trade where:

    Pirates get schierholtz (maybe Gregg too?)
    White Sox get prospects from pirates
    DBacks get Peavy
    Cubs get Kennedy

    Obviously pretty unlikely, but I could see all teams being content depending on the specifics of course.

    • frank

      So basically, the Cubs are trading Schierholtz and Gregg for Kennedy? I don’t know–I think that’s too much to give up if the only return is Kennedy, when the Diamondbacks are basically looking to get rid of him. Might be ok if he turns out to be the pitcher he was a couple years ago, but not for what he is right now.

      • Andrew

        I’m not talking specifics really just the various centerpieces that go to each team. Since the Dbacks and cubs dont seem to match in terms of needs (assuming a Shark trade doesnt happen, which it won’t) just spitballing ways that the cubs could acquire kennedy.

        • frank

          Well, like I said, “if” the only return is Kennedy–so it looks like we agree that Kennedy alone wouldn’t be enough.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Starting pitching has a much bigger value than a declining/old closer and a role player (though a high-quality roll player). Make the trade…please!!!

  • MichiganGoat

    If we only have to give up players we’d lose through the Rule 5 draft or someone that is already on the 40 man but the FO doesn’t think we can hold into then make the move. Might be a good move if it helps with 40 man issues.

  • http://bleachernation Ferris

    This would be agood deal for us , vitters and gregg

  • Jono

    Not going by any logic or facts, I do NOT want this dude. He burned me in fantasy once, so therefore the cubs shouldn’t get him. He’s not jelly.

  • Crockett

    From Minnesota:

    “Haven’t heard anything about that at all.”

    I asked, “Kennedy to Cubs?”

    • Vulcan

      Stealthy Theo, perhaps?

  • Joey

    I would love a Rusin, Russell, fringe top 30 guy (Balaguert/Geiger) for Kennedy deal.

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    They have Matt Davidson. Probably don’t need or want a log jam at that position. But, who knows – either Olt or Vitters is on the 40 man.

    I think we need to get more than Kennedy if we are shipping things out.

    Navarro would complement Montero a bit. Might have to take on Will Nieves in an expiring contract swap

    AZ: Ian Kennedy, Will Nieves, C Stryker Trahan + maybe a meatball older prospect

    Cubs: 2014 Cash for Kennedy, Navarro, Dillon Maples, Josh Vitters and/or Brett Jackson

    That’s not much really. AZ probably says we raped them. Some here will say why would I give up on Maples – but I think its a risk to take, and they will want a pitcher back for certain.

  • http://bleachernation.com ramy16

    I see Toronto is putting emilo bonafacio out there..do the cubs bite?

    • Andrew

      I’d sure hope not. I like Borbon more than I like him, and I don’t like borbon.

      • DarthHater

        I like Bonifacio because he’s a switch hitter, so Sveum wouldn’t feel compelled to platoon him.

  • http://bleachernation.com ramy16

    Need a lead off hitter..bonafacio fits

  • Die hard

    Campana down payment for Kennedy?

    • DarthHater

      LOL

    • DarthHater

      Bless you, sir. I needed a good laugh.

      • TWC

        Yeah, that was actually funny, and I kinda think he meant it to be. Weird.

  • Die hard

    Valbuena and DeJesus to Royals?

  • Die hard

    Gregg to Red Sox?

    • Coop

      I enjoy that these are all questions. No need to provide facts or sources with that little punctuation mark at the end. Well played.

  • Cubsleeram

    Samardzija to St. Louis Browns?

    • Jed Jam Band

      Barney to Hartford Blue Devils?

  • Believe in 2015

    Javier Baez just took a first inning walk. For all those haterz out there. Lol

  • Jon

    I love when folks toss out the utmost laziest clichés for player evaluation like “ 2 years removed from finishing 4th for the Cy Young”. We’ll fuck me thanks for that. Let’s dig a little deeper into that. In 2011, Ian Kennedy’s 3.22 FIP placed him 13th in the National League. A very good season, by “Cy Young” worthy? Not really.

    His Cy Young candidacy was only a result of those 21 wins which he can chalk up to having a great team behind him. Using “Wins” as a primary evaluation tool for pitchers, well, that’s straight outa the Hawk Harrellson school of player analysis. So please people, think a little bit, before you post.

    • DarthHater

      You make a very good point – which, unfortunately is overwhelmed by the assholish manner in which you present it.

      • Cubbiecop

        this…^^^^^

      • Crockett

        At least he’s an asshole that I agree with.

    • Coop

      I would gladly take a pitcher that finishes 13th in FIP…

      • Jon

        I would too Coop, but that’s not really relevant to the point now is it?

        • Jed Jam Band

          Well, no, but you don’t have to be a lame jerk to get your point across. This is a community. My suggestion is that you give it a shot.

    • Jed Jam Band

      13th in FIP isn’t bad at all and based on luck, park factors, and any range of other variables, a person could rightfully call that a Cy Young competitive season. Anyways, nobody is saying that’s what he is right now, but that it shows his potential and that as a buy-low, he would be cool to have.

      • Jon

        Again, I was trying to point out, that stating “4th in Cy Young Voting, 2 years removed” is misleading.

        On his best season in the big leagues, he was a top 15 pitcher in the NL btw, if you go by FIP, he’s actually the 2nd worse now in the national league.

        Not to say I’m objecting to taking a flier, it all depends on cost and circumstance.

        • ssckelley

          But it has been 10 years since the Cubs have had a pitcher finish in the top 4 of the Cy Young award!

    • ssckelley

      Ok, I did what you suggest and I gave it some thought before I posted………………………

      All I could come up with.

    • Coop

      Yes, a better/fuller commentary on his performance would use advanced statistics. However, for a quick and dirty (and, sure, lazy) way of saying he was pretty darn good in recent history – he was in the conversation for Cy Young. So much faster and less mathy. Maths are hard and stuff – especially as one move inexorably towards the 36 hour mark!

      • Jon

        He was in the conversation for Cy Young because baseball writers are stupid and lazy.

    • Rebuilding

      Ok, Jon. If you read the board at all I’m sure you realize I talk about advanced stats all of the time. I simply used that as shorthand that Kennedy has been highly regarded recently and is probably worth a little more than James Russell. Do you actually have anything useful to add

      • Jon

        Yes. He’s no way in hell worth more than James Russell at this point.

        • Cubbie Blues

          I guess it’s a good thing they aren’t in hell then.

        • Rebuilding

          James Russell, the middle reliever about to hit his 2nd year of arb and get expensive, of the 4.51 xFIP and barely 2:1 K/BB ratio? As opposed to Ian Kennedy of the 4.37 xFIP (better than Travis Wood) who is striking out almost 7.75 guys per 9 and is only 28? I sure hope the fronts office doesn’t value middle relievers like you – but as the Marshall trade showed, they don’t

          • Rebuilding

            Not to mention that Kennedy has been killed by a HR/FB rate that has spiked to 12.1% this year – way above career norms and very like to regress. Pitching in Arizona obviously doesn’t help him as a fly ball pitcher either. Career 4.05 FIP pitcher compared to Matt Garza who is 4.02 for his career. But not worth James Russell lol

      • Coop

        A similar comp – Sean Marshall for Travis Wood (and others).

        I would argue that Marshall was better than Russell.

        I would also argue that Kennedy is worth more than Wood *was*.

        So a comparable trade would be Russell for Kennedy *plus* filler prospects.

        I would rather see Russell moved for higher ceiling guy(s), but there are ways to make the deal for Kennedy and still come out okay.

  • Jon

    Russell for Kennedy is really a massive overpay imo. If Kennedy keeps on stinking things up he’s a candidate for DFA. I think it would be intriguing to see what Bosio could do with him but be patient, you probably can get him for free.

  • X the Cubs Fan

    Robert Murray ‏@RobertMurrayMLB 1m
    Bud Norris Latest: #DBacks not interested; #Pirates unlikely; #Orioles interested: http://www.mlbinjurynews.com/2013/07/bud-norris-latest-dbacks-not-interested.html

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