The KC Royals got their man.
After weeks of speculation, the Royals signed right-handed starter Ian Kennedy. While I like the addition of Kennedy to a rotation that already includes Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez, Chris Young, and Kris Medlen (especially if pitching coach Dave Eiland can work his magic on Kennedy again), I am not liking the amount of years the contract is for.
Kennedy signed for five years and $70 million. He can opt-out after two years, meaning the Royals could have very little in terms of players following the 2017 season. But if he sticks around, he will be almost 36 years old when the contract runs out.
Plus, this signing costs the Royals their first round draft pick this June (24th overall) and for a team that gave up upper level prospects at the trading deadline last July and for a team that needs to build from within for the future, this could prove to be costly in the long run.
Kennedy is a fly ball pitcher and with the Royals normally superb outfield defense and large park at Kauffman Stadium, Kennedy could thrive (he allowed 31 home runs last season with San Diego). He did not have a great 2015 season (4.28 ERA in 30 starts). He did have a solid 9.3 K/9, but the 2.8 BB/9 plus giving up 166 hits in 168.1 innings is a lot of base runners.
The Royals look to be going for it the next two years. This signing also allows them to wait on Kyle Zimmer (they don’t have to rush him to the big leagues this year).