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Ian Kennedy on opting out of contract with Royals: “It would be pretty stupid if I did.”

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Royals starter Ian Kennedy has had a miserable season, the second leg of a five-year, $70 million contract he signed in January 2016. He has the ability to opt out after the 2017 season, but it doesn’t sound like he’s going to. The right-hander said, via Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, “It would be pretty stupid if I did.”

Kennedy, 32, has made 26 starts this season, putting up a 5.37 ERA with a 113/55 K/BB ratio in 135 2/3 innings. As far as his peripherals go, all the good stats are down (e.g. strikeout rate) and all of the bad stats are up (e.g. walk rate, home run rate).

Kennedy said, “I don’t think anybody would want how I’ve been throwing lately. Shoot, I haven’t thought about it. If you’re throwing well, then you start thinking about it. But right now, it doesn’t look too good. You don’t go to the free agent market pitching how I’ve been. No one is going to want that.”

Next season, Kennedy will earn $16 million, then $16.5 million in 2019 and ’20. He will be 35 years old in the final year of his current contract.

Sheldon Ocker named winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award

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The Baseball Writers Association of America has named Sheldon Ocker the winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown on July 29.

Ocker began covering the Indians for the Akron Beacon Journal in 1981 and did so until 2013, when he retired. He was national president of the BBWAA in 1985 and served as chair of the Cleveland Chapter 11 times. He named Ohio Sports Writer of the Year in 1997 and 2000 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.