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.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.