Diamondbacks SP Ian Kennedy Officially Traded to Padres

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIJuly 31, 2013

The Arizona Diamondbacks have traded starting pitcher Ian Kennedy to the National League West rival San Diego Padres for reliever Joe Thatcher, a minor league prospect and a draft pick.

Padres beat writer Corey Brock of MLB.com broke the news on Wednesday:

The Padres made it official shortly after that:

This deal came down to the wire, as baseball's non-waiver trade deadline expires at 4 p.m. ET.

After starting out his career with the New York Yankees, Kennedy had a decent first season with the Diamondbacks before bursting onto the scene with a sensational 2011 season.

Kennedy went 21-4 to lead the National League in wins that year and posted a 2.88 ERA. Things have gone a bit south for the 28-year-old since then, but his unique pitching arsenal and past success show the upside he has when he's on his game.   

Perhaps the change of scenery will do Kennedy well and get his career back on track, as he looks to finish the season strong after posting a 3-8 record and a 5.23 ERA to date.

As for Arizona, the addition of the southpaw Thatcher strengthens the bullpen, which will be critical in the club's bid to catch the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West lead.

The Diamondbacks, who have lost three straight, are 3.5 games back entering Wednesday's action.

Additionally, Matt Stites may be another future bullpen staple in the desert. Although he's in Double-A ball right now, the former Missouri standout has a 2-2 record with a 2.08 ERA for the San Antonio Missions in 2013, per MILB.com

Overall, this is a last-minute swap that provides promise for both sides, but the big storyline will be how Kennedy recovers from his recent difficulties.