Ian Kennedy expected to reject Padres’ qualifying offer

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

Pitcher Ian Kennedy is expected to turn down the Padres’ $15.8 million qualifying offer, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune suggests. The Padres also made a qualifying offer to outfielder Justin Upton, but there is much more certainty that he will turn it down to seek a multi-year deal in free agency.

A player has yet to accept a qualifying offer since the system was implemented. The 30-year-old Kennedy, coming off of a rough season in which he finished with a 4.28 ERA across 30 starts, might accept. However, since he is still relatively young and has a couple of solid seasons under his belt, Kennedy may be able to land a multi-year deal on the open market. He has made 30-plus starts in each of his last six seasons despite inconsistent results.

Kennedy earned $9.85 million for the 2015 season, avoiding arbitration in his final year of eligibility, so $15.8 million would represent a hefty raise for the right-hander.