Ian Kennedy was originally drafted by the Yankees in 2006 and made 14 appearances with the club before being dealt to the Diamondbacks in a three-team deal in December of 2009. Now the Yankees are reportedly considering a reunion with the right-hander as they attempt to bolster their starting rotation.
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM, the Yankees and Padres are discussing a deal that would bring Kennedy back to New York and send prospects Eric Jagielo and Ian Clarkin to San Diego. For what it’s worth, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman confirms that the Yankees are interested in Kennedy, but not at the expense of both Jagielo and Clarkin. Both were first-round picks of the Bombers last June. That would be a pretty steep price.
Kennedy, 29, owns a 3.66 ERA and 143/42 K/BB ratio over 135 1/3 innings this season. Home runs ultimately did him in during his time in Arizona, which is something to consider with a possible return to the Bronx. He’s making $6.1 million this season and is under team control through 2015.
Bowden also reports that the Yankees have been in discussions with the Rockies about left-hander Jorge De La Rosa. Basically, if there’s a pitcher who is available, it’s safe to assume that Brian Cashman has called about them.
The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.
Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).
John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.
What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.
The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?