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.
TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.
Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.
If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.
“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”
Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.
The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.
Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.