According to a source, Royals ownership may have shot down a trade that would have sent Ian Kennedy to Atlanta in exchange for LHP Joey Wentz, a KC native.
Before we dive too far into this rabbit hole, let’s make a few things clear:
- Due to the nature of the relationship with this source, we can only divulge so much of the information.
- We most certainly don’t know everything that went on in trade talks between Kansas City and Atlanta.
- The exact amount of money that the Royals would have had to eat in order to acquire Joey Wentz is not clear, but it seems to be a very fair amount.
Royals fans have every reason to be upset if ownership really shot down this trade offer. The San Francisco Giants were able to move all of Mark Melancon’s contract which came up to roughly $20M, and still acquire two prospects. The Detroit Tigers got rid of all of Shane Greene’s contract, roughly $10M, when dealing with Atlanta, and still got two prospects back.
The way I understand it is that the Royals agreed to trade Ian Kennedy to Atlanta before the Braves ever acquired Mark Melancon. The Braves eventually ate all of Melancon’s contract but shipped off two lesser prospects in exchange. In order to acquire a player as good as Wentz, the Royals presumably had to have eaten some money on Kennedy’s contract, the question that remains is how much?
Using some help from the Twitter dot com, we can start to piece some of this together. The Braves sent Joey Wentz and a fringe hitter in Travis Demeritte (35+ FV) to Detroit in exchange for Shane Greene who, like Kennedy, is under control through 2020. Greene’s ERA is a bit better than Kennedy’s, but his FIP is nearly double that of Kennedy’s. Greene is also owed roughly half as much money as Kennedy over the next two seasons (tough for me to gauge what Greene will get in arbitration next year).
To me, it sounds like the Royals would’ve needed to send roughly $10M with Kennedy to Atlanta in order to acquire a player of Wentz’ caliber. That may sound dumb, $10M cash AND Kennedy for one player, here’s the thing:
The Royals owe Ian Kennedy that $21.9M no matter what. The contract is guaranteed and Kennedy WILL be paid. So, really, in a way, the trade would look more like this:
- Kansas City gets: Joey Wentz and ~$10M
- Atlanta gets: Ian Kennedy
Ian Kennedy is a sunk cost. Ownership refusing to take on some salary relief AND Joey Wentz for a year and a half of Ian Kennedy’s services just befuddles me. I can not make my self understand it in a baseball sense.
We have never reported anything here at Royals Farm Report that did not wind up being true. We have never falsely reported something for a hot take or attention on the interweb. That is not at all what we are here for. Hopefully by now we’ve earned that trust from you. So trust us when we tell you that we feel very confident in our source on this one. Make of it what you will.
Photo Credits: Brian McLeod – MiLB.com