Royals’ right-hander Ian Kennedy will not opt out of his contract, according to a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. It’s a no-brainer for Kennedy, who mulled over the decision in September and eventually told reporters, “It would be pretty stupid if I did [opt out].” He still has three years and $49 million guaranteed with the club, which would take him through his age-35 season in 2020.
There’s little incentive for the right-hander to test the free agent market after putting up some career-worst numbers in 2017. After weathering a hamstring strain and some lingering shoulder tightness, Kennedy finished the season with a 5-13 record in 30 starts, earning the unenviable distinction of earning the fewest wins in the most starts since the Orioles’ Kevin Millwood posted a 4-16 record in 2010. (Granted, pitcher wins mean next to nothing, but this still isn’t a club you want to find yourself in.) That wasn’t just the result of the Royals going 80-82 in 2017, however — he also racked up a 5.38 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 7.7 SO/9 through 154 innings with the team.
The Royals have yet to confirm the report.