The Kansas City Royals signed right-handed pitcher Ian Kennedy, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
According to Heyman, Kennedy will make $70 million over five years. This equates to a $14 million annual average value.
The AAV on Kennedy's new contract falls right behind John Lackey and Scott Kazmir, who made $16 million per season, and right above J.A. Happ, who made $12 million per season.
On total guarantee, Kennedy is eighth-richest starter who signed a new contract this offseason.
For the Royals, Kennedy adds to an already expensive offseason for a team that is considered to be in one of the smallest markets in the Major Leagues. Prior to this deal, the Royals set their franchise record for largest contract earlier this offseason with the re-signing of Alex Gordon to a four-year, $72 million deal.
The signing of Kennedy is an interesting one for the Royals. He has had success in the past, but just has not been consistent over his nine-year career. The Royals are good with "broken" pitchers and may see how to reconstruct Kennedy into the starter that finished fourth in the NL Cy Young voting in 2011.
To date, the Royals' rotation is made up by the likes of Edinson Volquez, Yordano Ventura, Ian Kennedy, Danny Duffy, and Chris Young. Johnny Cueto, who spent the second half of the 2015 season in Kansas City, left for San Francisco via free agency.
In 2015, the 31-year-old pitched for the Padres. He went 9-15 with a 4.28 ERA and a 174 to 52 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 168 1/3 innings pitched. FanGraphs says he was worth 0.8 Wins Above Replacement.
Over his career, Kennedy has a 3.98 ERA and a 1,140 to 412 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 1,234 2/3 innings pitched. He has spent time with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Padres.
The Padres offered Kennedy a qualifying offer at the beginning of the offseason, so the Royals will have to forfeit their 2016 first round pick because of the signing.
After Mike Leake signed earlier this week, the market for other mid-tier starting pitchers, like Yovani Gallardo, have begun to move to forefront around Major League Baseball.
Gallardo's agent, Alan Nero of Octagon, told The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo said that he has been in discussions, but that nothing has "moved forward" during this holiday week. Teams are in on him, but not quite all-in.
The Royals, Astros, and Orioles have all been linked to the free agent right-hander.
Cafardo notes that fellow starter Scott Kazmir's market appears to be tied to Gallardo's, meaning that once Gallardo signs, teams who were unable to get him will turn to Kazmir. They are, at least in my opinion, going to get comparable contracts.
Gallardo, who turns 30 in February, was very solid production-wise last year. He went 13-11 with a 3.42 ERA and a 121 to 68 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 184 1/3 innings pitched. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 2.5 Wins Above Replacement.
Major League Baseball organizations had until today at 5 PM eastern to offer their impending free agents qualifying offers.
A qualifying offer is a one-year, $15.8 million deal, which is the average of the top 125 one-year salaries in the game. Any impending free agent can be offered a qualifying offer, however, that player must have spent the entire season with the organization that is offering them the deal (i.e. traded players like Johnny Cueto cannot be offered a qualifying offer).
If the player accepts the qualifying offer, they are basically re-signing with their former club to a one-year, $15.8 million deal.
If the player rejects the qualifying offer, they become a free agent as scheduled. However, if they sign with a different team, then their original team (the team they are coming from) will receive an extra first round draft pick at the end of the first round. The team that signs the player loses their first round pick, as long as they are not within the top 10 in the draft order (which in that case, they would lose their second round pick).
In the three-year history of the qualifying offer, no player has accepted the deal.
An MLB-record 20 players were offered a qualifying offer today. They have one week to make a decision whether they want to accept or decline the deal:
The comeback kids did it again.
In what was their eighth comeback win of the postseason (easily a record), the American League-champion Kansas City Royals defeated the National League-champion New York Mets in Game 5 of the World Series, 7-2.
Matt Harvey stifled the Royals for eight innings, giving up no runs and working with a 2-0 lead. After appealing to manager Terry Collins to keep him in the game to finish out the ninth, the Royals used their final three outs to the absolute best of their ability.
Lorenzo Cain led off the inning with a walk. Then, Eric Hosmer doubled him home, prompting Collins to pull Harvey after a great performance, where he went eight innings, allowing five hits, and striking out nine while walking just two. Collins brought in closer Jeurys Familia to get the final three outs.
Following a Mike Moustakas ground out, Salvador Perez drove home the game-tying run on a ground ball to third base, where Hosmer scored on a throw from first baseman Lucas Duda that was wide of the catcher.
Three extra innings later, the Royals called upon Christian Colon, who did not have a single at bat this entire postseason, to pinch hit with Jarrod Dyson at third base and just one out.
He singled into left field, scoring Dyson, and giving Kansas City their first lead of the game and the lead that would give them the World Series championship. Four runs later and it was time for the Royals to close it out.
As Wade Davis fell to his knees in the bottom of the 12th inning at Citi Field in Flushing, the Royals brought home their first World Series championship since defeating the Cardinals in the 1985 World Series.
Catcher Salvador Perez was named the World Series MVP after recording a hit in every single game. Overall, he went 8-for-22 (.364) with a double and one RBI. He also managed the Royals' pitching staff well and caught some great games defensively.
The Royals' starting pitcher tonight was Edinson Volquez, making his first appearance since his father's death before Game 1. He was not the sharpest, going six innings of two run (one earned) ball, striking out five and walking five, but he delivered the type of performance the Royals needed to bring home the championship.
For the Mets, it was a somber end of an extremely successful season. After not even being expected to make the postseason, the team won 90 games and took the National League East divison crown from the heavily-favored Nationals, behind a deadly rotation of Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Bartolo Colon, and Jon Niese. They played fantastic this season and should be a contender for years to come.
But tonight, it's all Royals, as the team who was 90-feet away from a World Series win last year takes the crown tonight.
The Kansas City Royals will non-tender right-handed relief pitcher Greg Holland, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported.
The move will make Holland a free agent at the end of the offseason, where the Royals will be happy to consider a two-year deal with him, Heyman reported.
This news does not come as a surprise. Since Holland tore his UCL in his elbow and will require Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2016 season, it wouldn't make sense to give him a one-year deal in his final year of arbitration, as the Royals couldn't control him past next year anyway.
However, if Holland returns to the Royals on a two-year pact, then the team would miss him for next season, but still get him back in the second year of his deal when he is fully recovered.
The 29-year-old Holland went 3-2 with a 3.83 ERA and 3.27 FIP in 44 2/3 innings pitched this season, posting a 49 to 26 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He saved 32 games in 37 opportunities. The Royals' dominant closer has saved 125 games over the past three years.