The San Diego Padres have extended a $15.8 million qualifying offer to starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The team officially announced the offer a few hours later.
On Thursday, the Padres extended a qualifying offer to left fielder Justin Upton, who will most likely decline and become a top free agent on the market. If he does hit free agency, Upton is unlikely to re-sign in San Diego. He wants a chance at a World Series title and more money, which are two things the Padres will not be able to immediately hand over to the superstar. One team that will have their eye on Upton is the San Francisco Giants.
While Upton is set to decline, Kennedy is another story. The 21st pick in the 2006 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees has Scott Boras as his agent, who always has the ability to surprise the public.
Kennedy should accept the offer because the Padres already have $80 million committed two seven players for 2016. If Kennedy declines the offer, he can market his value through free agency. He could also work out a free agency deal to return to San Diego for 2016 without accepting the qualifying offer, but the Padres would probably not give him a big-time contract. Another reason Kennedy might accept is that it is doubtful that a deal via free agency gets him more than an annual value of $15.8 million, which is what he would get over one-year if he accepts the qualifying offer.
Over three-of-nine Major League seasons for Kennedy were spent in San Diego. Over his time with San Diego, the pitcher is 26-30 with a 3.97 ERA over 73 games pitched and 748.1 innings.
The best season for Kennedy came in 2011, which he finished 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA over 33 games. The righty finished fourth in National League Cy Young voting behind Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.
With his entire career, which has been with the Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Padres, Kennedy is 75-68 with a 3.98 ERA and 1,234.2 innings pitched.
Kennedy has until November 13 to either accept or decline the one-year offer from the Padres. If the pitcher declines the offer and signs with a different team in the open market, San Diego will receive a compensation draft pick for the 2016 MLB Draft in June.