Winners and Losers of Diamondbacks-Padres Trade Sending Ian Kennedy to San Diego

Ely SussmanCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2013

Winners and Losers of Diamondbacks-Padres Trade Sending Ian Kennedy to San Diego

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    MLB.com's Corey Brock confirmed Wednesday afternoon that right-handed pitcher Ian Kennedy is headed to the San Diego Padres, and the Arizona Diamondbacks will receive reliever Joe Thatcher, prospect Matt Stites and a compensation-round pick in the 2014 draft.

    It's time to look at the immediate consequences. Feast your eyes on this list of winners and losers—teams and individuals who were positively and negatively affected by the trade.

Winners: Arizona Diamondbacks

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    The Arizona Diamondbacks felt Ian Kennedy was expendable.

    Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy are rehabbing from shoulder injuries, while stud pitching prospect Archie Bradley is nearly ready for the majors. The starting rotation has more than enough decent candidates.

    Meanwhile, Joe Thatcher meets Arizona's glaring need for left-handed relief. Matt Reynolds was taking care of that, but he has been on the disabled list since early June (elbow).

    With Thatcher, the D-Backs once again have somebody to neutralize left-handed batters, who own an anemic .488 OPS against him in 2013. Overall, Thatcher boasts a 2.10 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 30 innings.

Losers: Los Angeles Angels

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    As MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez detailed, the Los Angeles Angels "expressed mild interest" in Ian Kennedy. General manager Jerry Dipoto was familiar with Kennedy from his days in the Diamondbacks organization and was attracted to his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

    A lack of pitching depth derailed the Halos in 2013, and Kennedy is a Southern California native, for whatever that's worth.

    The team began selling on Tuesday with the trade of infielder Alberto Callaspo, but didn't receive any pitching in return.

     

Winner: Ian Kennedy

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    Ian Kennedy has fallen a long way since finishing fourth in National League Cy Young Award voting in 2011. According to FanGraphs, his WAR value has plummeted from 5.0 to 2.9 to 0.7 this season.

    A simple change of scenery can lead to a rebound, but more specifically, a vast outfield will help an extreme fly-ball pitcher like Kennedy. Even though Petco Park brought in its outfield fences prior to this season, it still takes very solid contact for hitters to reach the seats.

    The San Diego Padres rotation is in disarray, so Kennedy's starting job will be safe for the remainder of this season as well as 2014.

Losers: Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Don't start celebrating too soon.

    The Los Angeles Dodgers have been the hottest team in the National League this month, and they were certainly hoping that the rival Arizona Diamondbacks wouldn't try to buy at the trade deadline.

    Alas, by acquiring Joe Thatcher, the NL West has instantly grown tighter.

    The southpaw irritates the Dodgers, who have put on seven baserunners against him in two innings this season, but failed to push across a run. In 35 career appearances versus L.A., Thatcher owns a 2.35 ERA and .226 BAA.

    These division rivals meet seven times in September.

Winner: Joe Thatcher

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    Joe Thatcher has spent his entire MLB career with the San Diego Padres, which means he hasn't often felt the exhilaration of contending.

    That changes now.

    The Arizona Diamondbacks sat atop the NL West for much of the first half. Entering play on Wednesday, they're just 3.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    An NL wild-card spot is also becoming increasingly realistic given the recent struggles of the Cincinnati Reds.

    This trade reunites Thatcher with general manager Kevin Towers. He's the decision-maker who brought the Indiana native to San Diego in the first place and gave him a major league call-up back in 2007.