Ian Kennedy has turned down a qualifying offer from the San Diego Padres and will remain a free agent, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. The 30-year-old is coming off of a disappointing 2015 season, going 9-15 with a 4.28 ERA.
For Kennedy, the decision to turn down a guaranteed offer was a rather bold one. The draft pick compensation associated with lower tier players has made it difficult in recent years to secure a contract. Also, Kennedy is coming off a 15 loss season, the worst of his career.
There is hope for Kennedy though. He sported a 9.3 K/9 rate to go with a 2.8 BB/9 rate. He also consistently provides innings, as he's thrown at least 200 three times in his career and came close on two other occasions.
Teams that don't have a protected pick could shy away from Kennedy and opt to spend their money on other pitchers. From a talent standpoint, Kennedy is not in that top-tier of starting pitching and to ask a team to give up a first-rounder for an aging pitcher coming off of a bad season is tough.
Those teams that have a protected first round pick, would more than likely be the potential suitors for Kennedy. They could bring him in for a couple of years, to help them compete, and they would only part with a second-round pick for his services.
It's a gamble for Kennedy, but with Scott Boras as his agent, it could be a gamble that pays off.