The San Diego Padres are buyers! Who knew?
As the nonwaiver trade deadline approached Wednesday, the fourth-place Padres acquired right-handed starting pitcher Ian Kennedy from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher, minor league reliever Matt Stites and the Padres’ Round B selection in the 2014 draft.
“We’re excited to add a starting pitcher of Ian’s pedigree,” said Padres General Manager Josh Byrnes. “He is under club control through 2015, and we feel he will help us take another step forward as a team.”
Kennedy, 28, is tentatively scheduled to make his first start for the Padres Sunday against the visiting Yankees.
The Padres had been mentioned regularly as possible traders at the deadline, but after having fallen into last place in the National League West, they were thought to be sellers. However, after having recently lost Jason Marquis to elbow surgery, the Pads were desperate for starting pitching.
Kennedy is 49-38 with a 3.99 ERA since debuting with the Yankees in 2007. The Diamondbacks’ Opening Day starter in each of the past three seasons, including 2013, Kennedy is 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA with 108 strikeouts against 48 walks.
The Padres are hoping a return to Southern California (and a more pitcher-friendly park) will turn Kennedy’s record around.
The 6-foot, 190-pound right-hander finished fourth in the 2011 National League Cy Young Award voting after posting a 21-4 record with a 2.88 ERA.
Selected by the Yankees in the first round (21st overall) in 2006, he was traded to Arizona as part of a three-team trade with the Detroit Tigers in December 2009.
Born and raised in Huntington Beach, Calif., Kennedy graduated from La Quinta High School and played was a two-time First-Team All-American at USC. He and his wife, Allison, reside in Scottsdale, Ariz., with their two daughters.
The 31-year-old Thatcher is 3-1 this season with a 2.10 ERA in 50 relief appearances. The left-hander was acquired by the Padres from the Milwaukee Brewers in July 2007.
Stites, 23, a right-hander, has pitched the entire 2013 season with Double-A San Antonio, compiling a 2-2 record with a 2.08 ERA in 46 relief appearances. The Missouri native was selected by the Padres in the 17th round of the 2011 draft.