Trade: Padres acquire RHP Ian Kennedy from Diamondbacks for LHP Joe Thatcher, RHP Matt Stites and 2014 competitive balance round B pick
It may be a bit of a stretch to call this an under-the-radar move because Kennedy is a fairly well-known commodity, but the fact he is going to San Diego might make some people tune out because the Padres aren't very relevant right now.
I understand this move, from a business perspective, for Arizona. The Diamondbacks have starting pitching depth in the big leagues with Wade Miley, Patrick Corbin, Randall Delgado, Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy (the latter two are on the DL, but could return soon and are signed beyond 2013).
They also have young starters they can work into the rotation in the next year starting with Tyler Skaggs and Archie Bradley. Ian Kennedy has an ERA over 5.00, will likely get a raise next season in his second year of arbitration and has been a mess since finishing fourth in NL Cy Young voting two years ago.
However, for a team like the Padres, Kennedy is the perfect fit for the rotation. He is a pitcher with a straight fastball that can be elevated easily, as evidenced by the 46 home runs he has given up in 332.1 innings since the start of 2012. That kind of pitcher in Chase Field will get crushed, as we have seen this year.
However, put Kennedy in Petco Park, where fly balls go to die, and he can be a superficially good starter for the next two years and won't cost the Padres nearly as much money as it would to get a solid free-agent starter.
On top of that, all the Padres had to give up was a left-handed specialist (Joe Thatcher), an undersized reliever in Double-A who doesn't have an effective secondary pitch and a draft pick that will probably be in the 70-75 range, where you are not likely to find a big league player.
Kennedy will fit in nicely with a rotation that could be very good in 2014 with Andrew Cashner and Eric Stults.