It may have taken about two weeks to become official, but the KC Royals announced today that they signed right-handed pitcher Ian Kennedy to a five year deal.
Kennedy is guaranteed $70 million and he can opt-out after year two of his deal. He will make a reasonable $7.5 million this season and $13.5 million in 2017. He will also receive a $6 million buyout.
It is a backloaded deal that should make Kennedy want to stick around (when every other big name on the team leaves via free agency after the 2017 season). He would be giving up a guaranteed $49 million if he were to opt out.
The Royals also gave up their #24 pick in this June’s draft to San Diego, as Kennedy rejected the Padres qualifying offer this offseason.
As the days dragged into weeks since this deal was first reported, I suspected that it would be announced at Royals Fan Fest (which begins today).
I also suspected who would be cut loose from the 40-man roster. That would be fellow right-hander Louis Coleman, who earlier avoided arbitration at $725,000. However, that contract is not guaranteed, so the Royals are only on the hook for about $119,000 if they release him.
I suspect Coleman will be claimed off waivers, or at least the Royals should trade him to get something in return.