Jon Heyman reports that Ian Kennedy became the second of the six D-back arbitration candidates to avoid arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $4.265 million.
Kennedy actually has six major-league seasons under his belt, but managed only 14 appearances over the first three of those, while with the Yankees, which is why this is his first ride at the arbitration rodeo. Since then, however, he has been thoroughly reliable, not missing a start for the Diamondbacks since coming to us before the 2010 season, and going 45-26. His 3.55 ERA in the desert puts Ian fourth on the franchise list among starters with 250+ IP. 2012 wasn'r quite as impressive for Kennedy as 2011, but was still very solid, and he has probably already been penciled in as our Opening Day starter again, on April 1.
The agreed figure is pretty similar to the MLB Trade Rumors projection of $4.25 million. It's also very comparable to the amount David Price agreed to with Tampa last winter: in his first arbitration-eligible season, Price settled with the Rays on a one-year deal worth $4.35 million. His record to that point was definitely close to Ian's: David had gone 41-26 with a 3.38 ERA. Let's just hope that Kennedy's upcoming campaign is as good as Price's 2012, where he went 20-5, improved to a 2.56 ERA and won the Cy Young award.
Kennedy's agreement comes close to the deadline to exchange salary arbitration figures, which passed at 1pm today. The remaining four players on the Diamondbacks that are eligible for arbitration - Chris Johnson, Gerardo Parra, Cliff Pennington and Brad Ziegler - can continue to negotiate with the club, but if no deal is reached, will go to a hearing in February. I'll be writing more about that later today, so stay tuned.