The Kansas City Royals have bolstered their starting rotation with the addition of Ian Kennedy as the two sides have agreed to terms on a five-year, $70 million deal, according to a report from Jon Heyman of MLB Network on Saturday morning.
The news comes as a result of heavy interest that became stronger over the course of the past few weeks. Heyman reported yesterday that they were processing towards a contract.
Heyman also reported on Wednesday that the club seemed to have their focus mainly directed towards Kennedy as their pursuit became more aggressive.
As reported by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, the 31-year-old's deal will include an opt-out following the 2017 season.
Kennedy became a free agent earlier in the offseason after rejecting a qualifying offer worth $15.8 million from the San Diego Padres, where he came off a poor 2015 season.
In 30 games started, Kennedy posted a record of 9-15 to go along with a 4.28 ERA in 168.1 innings pitched. He gave up 166 hits, 95 runs, 80 of which were earned, and an absurd amount of home runs with 31.
Over the course of the past six seasons, Kennedy has compiled at least 30 starts and is good for close to 200 innings. Despite giving up too many home runs, Kennedy has recorded more strikeouts than innings pitched in the last two seasons.
This becomes the second signing for his agent Scott Boras this morning, as Chris Davis re-signed with the Baltimore Orioles on a seven-year, $161 million deal.
Kennedy provides Kansas City with another veteran both on and off the field, as well as a strong arm who can sit in the middle of the rotation and provide consistency.
The nine-year veteran may never return to the 2011 season with the Arizona Diamondbacks where he went 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA and finished fourth in the Cy Young voting, but he is consistent and should thrive with the defending World Champion Royals.
He will join a team that consists of starters such as RHP Edinson Volquez, RHP Chris Young, LHP Danny Duffy, RHP Yordano Ventura and RHP Kris Medlen.
Kennedy is a former first round pick of the New York Yankees (21st overall) back in the 2006 amateur draft where he agreed to sign with them later in the year.
Other teams that were said to have been interested in Kennedy's service include the Washington Nationals, Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies.