The Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees invariably set the market price for Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline in the blockbuster trade that sent closer Aroldis Chapman from the Bronx to Chicago.
New York was able to land Cubs elite prospect Gleyber Torres as part of their four-player return for Chapman, who’s essentially a rental as he’s eligible for free agency after the 2016 season. The trade further solidified this being a sellers’ market.
As a result, clubs such as the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, who have coveted starting pitchers that are under team control for multiple seasons, are in firm position to ask for a haul that exceeds what the Yankees received.
Or, in the case of the Kansas City Royals, attempt to package struggling starter Ian Kennedy in a trade centered around closer Wade Davis, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports:
Sources: Royals trying to package Ian Kennedy in a potential Wade Davis deal. Dodgers a strong match. Covet Davis and can take on Kennedy $.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 28, 2016
The Dodgers on Wednesday were reported as having interest in acquiring the 30-year-old Davis. However, they don’t appear inclined to take on Kennedy as part of the trade, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post:
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 28, 2016
Kennedy is in the first of a five-year, $70 million contract signed with the Royals. He can opt out of the deal after 2017 but would leave $49.5 million over three years on the table.
Kennedy is 6-9 with a 4.41 ERA, 5.34 FIP and 1.23 WHIP over 20 starts this season. Kennedy is tied for first in the Majors with 26 home runs allowed, and his 33.2 percent ground-ball rate is a career low
What’s more, Kennedy was at the center of the 2013 brawl between the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks as he intentionally threw at Zack Greinke. While Los Angeles has absorbed salary in previous deals, doing so for Davis may not be prudent even though he’s under team control through 2017.
The right-hander missed time earlier this season because of a strained right forearm, and his peripheral numbers are cause for concern. Davis’ strikeout rate this season is 8.6 per nine innings, which continues his downward trend (13.6 in 2014, 10.4 in 2015).
Davis is also averaging four walks per nine innings, which would set a career high. He otherwise owns a 1.60 ERA and has converted 21 saves on the year.