Champion Royals boost rotation with former 21-game winner Kennedy

BY Chris Bahr • January 16, 2016

The Kansas City Royals have agreed to a five-year, $70 million contract with free-agent right-hander Ian Kennedy.

Kennedy, 31, went 9-15 with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in 30 starts for the San Diego Padres last season. He struck out 174 batters in 168 1/3 innings. In his nine-season major-league career, Kennedy is 75-68 with a 3.98 ERA and an 8.3 K/9 ratio. He won 21 games with Arizona in 2011.

In November, Kennedy turned down the Padres' qualifying offer, which would have guaranteed him a $15.8 million salary for the 2016 season. Because of that, the Padres will receive a draft pick from the Royals as compensation for Kennedy.

The move to Kansas City will reunite Kennedy with pitching coach Dave Eiland, with whom he was paired during the start of his career with the New York Yankees.

Earlier this offseason, the World Series champion Royals lost free-agent right-hander Johnny Cueto from their rotation. Kennedy will join a group that includes Edinson Volquez and Yordano Ventura, and a combination of Kris Medlen, Danny Duffy and Chris Young.

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