Ian Kennedy walked off the mound at Tropicana Field for the Diamondbacks last night after a disappointing start for the last time yesterday. The Diamondbacks have traded him within the division to the San Diego Padres for Lefty-Specialist Joe Thatcher, Minor League pitcher Matt Stites, and a Comp B draft pick.
Kennedy was with the Diamondbacks for three and some change seasons, acquired before the 2010 season as part of the Max Scherzer-Curtis Granderson-Edwin Jackson three way deal with the Yankees and Tigers. He easily had his best season with the Diamondbacks, and in his career, in 2011, when he went 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA and being the ace of the 2011 NL West winning team.
After that, the wheels started to come off. Kennedy put up a 4.02 ERA in 2012 and had a 5.23 ERA in 2013 thus far. He had a meteoric rise in home runs allowed and hit by pitches in both years.
In return the Padres send over Joe Thatcher, a lefty specialist. In 30 innings pitched in 2013 he has put up a 2.10 ERA with a K/BB ratio of 7.25. The Padres also sent over Matt Stites, a minor league reliever. He has put up a 2.08 ERA with 51 Strikeouts to 8 walks in 52 innings in AA this season. Here is a scouting report on him from scoutingbook.com and posted by txzona in the trade thread:
A smallish closer candidate in the Padres minor league system, U Missouri alum Matt Stites ran his high-90's fastball right through the Midwest League in 2012, posting this insane performance line that contains no typographical errors: 50 innings, 0.74 ERA, 0.58 WHIP, 60 strikeouts and (wait for it) 3 walks.
Stites complements his heat with a ‘changeup' that still clocks in the high 80's and a breaking ball that's either a 12-7 slider or a hard curve, depending on your school of thought. Either way, it's devastating when it comes in unannounced. Despite his smallish stature, Stites has all the confidence and swagger you expect from a quality relief pitcher. He's shown no fear of any hitter, at least not yet. As the top relief prospect in the Padres system, and with all due respect to the outstanding Huston Street, it wouldn't be a shock to see Stites closing games by the end of 2014.
The dealings and wheelings may not yet be finished, so stay glued to azsnakepit.com for all your trade deadline needs.