Arizona Diamondbacks

Can Trade Target Ian Kennedy Ever Return to 'Ace' Status?

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 24:  Ian Kennedy #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs at Chase Field on July 24, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Norm Hall/Getty Images
Chris StephensCorrespondent IIJuly 30, 2013

Is one great year enough to call someone an ace? That's what the Arizona Diamondbacks are banking on as they look to move Ian Kennedy prior to the trade deadline.

The Diamondbacks are looking to move Kennedy while also seeking to acquire Jake Peavy. But would it be a smart move for the Los Angeles Angels?

After all, is Kennedy ever going to return to ace status? 

 

One Great Season

After one great season in 2011, Kennedy immediately got the title of ace.

He may have gone 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA and 198 strikeouts, but since then, he's 18-19 with a 4.45 ERA and 288 strikeouts. Before that he was 10-14 with a 4.33 ERA.

One great season was all he had.

A discussion could be started about Tim Lincecum as well, but there's a major difference between the two: Lincecum proved himself more than one year, while Kennedy hasn't. Lincecum was a true ace and just ended up losing it, while Kennedy was a No. 3 pitcher (at best) who had the best season of his career. Mark Fidrych, anyone?

Luckily for the Diamondbacks, Kennedy wasn't in a contract year. If he had been, he'd be making eight figures every year.

 

The Problem Being in Los Angeles

If Kennedy is ever going to be called an ace again, he can't go to a place that already has two aces on staff. Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson may not be the best pitchers in baseball, but both know how to get the job done.

Los Angeles also might not be the place Kennedy wants to be, especially considering the events of the Diamondbacks-Dodgers brawl on June 11.

While it's true he would be playing for the crosstown rival, fans from the city won't ever forget him throwing at Yasiel Puig and Zack Greinke.

Los Angeles would be the last place I'd want to be if I were him.

 

Verdict

Kennedy does have a lot of talent and could be a good No. 2 or No. 3 pitcher in the big leagues. However, to call him an ace would be a disservice to guys like Clayton Kershaw, CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander.

There are only a few players outside of those three that I would consider true aces. 

Would you call Bud Norris an ace? He started Opening Day.

Just because you start the first game of the season doesn't mean you're an ace. It just means you're the closest thing to an ace.

Trading for Kennedy would be a decent move for the Angels, as it would add depth to their starting rotation. However, to think Kennedy will ever be an ace is simply laughable...at least until he proves otherwise.

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