That's right folks, former Ace pitcher Ian Kennedy is back with the Dbacks, only this time as a bullpen pitcher. He's going to serve as the Diamondbacks' set-up pitcher. They agreed to a 1-year deal worth 4.75 million dollars plus 2.35 million in incentives along with a mutual option for 2023. The 37-year old previously played with Arizona from 2010-13.
Back then, Ian Kennedy was acquired in the Edwin Jackson, Curtis Granderson trade. Over his 4 years with the team, he finished as the #4 CY Young vote-getter during his best year with the team in 2011 when he led us to the playoffs. Overall, he went 48-34 with a 3.82 ERA, 119 games, 748.1 innings, 228 walks, 661 K's, 106 ERA+, and a 3.96 FIP. Not bad for a quality pitcher.
After leaving in a trade-in 2013 to the Padres in which he would start for them for 3 seasons, he signed a big-money deal with the Royals. He only was a starting pitcher for 3 of the 5 years he signed for. In those final two years, he would prove himself as a quality closer. In 2021, he signed a 1-year deal with the Rangers to be their closer. He did so well that he was dealt at the trade deadline to the Phillies to be their closer. He struggled a bit down the stretch but still saved 10 games for the Phils, 26 for the year.
Over his 15-year career, he's been worth 17 wins above replacement which is pretty good considering he's made over 92 million in the MLB. Last year, Kennedy failed to reach many ground balls which raised his home run rate. However, with Brent Strom as his pitch coach and in a stadium he's used to, I don't see it being too much an issue. Either way, it's nice to see Kennedy back in the red and black that he looked so good in for so long! Welcome back to the Dbacks Ian and family!