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Padres set price high for Kennedy; could still keep him and/or Benoit

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The Padres have sent word to some teams that they would need to be overwhelmed to trade Ian Kennedy, sources said. Or at least that's the message being received.

That isn't to say Kennedy won't be dealt, of course. But the indication seems to be that the Padres aren't anxious to trade the veteran right-hander.

San Diego already has made two big trades, including the one to send third baseman Chase Headley to the Yankees.

The Yankees, one of the teams interested in Kennedy, seek to upgrade their rotation after the loss of four of their original five starting pitchers. New York is familiar with Kennedy, who came up with the Yankees after being a first-round draft choice by them. Kennedy is 7-9 with a 3.62 ERA and has impressed folks by significantly raising his strikeout rate.

But for today, it appears the Padres aren't resigned to dealing either Kennedy or reliever Joaquin Benoit after trading both Headley and closer Huston Street, and will seek substantial returns for both. Both remaining Padres are tied to the team for next year, with Kennedy arbitration eligible and Benoit due to make $8 million.

The Tigers had been in on Benoit but instead landed Joakim Soria from the Rangers, while the Pirates and Indians also have shown interest in Benoit, who took over as Padres closer after the trade of Street.

The Padres earlier had traded Street to the Angels in a six-player trade, receiving four prospects in the deal, then sent Headley to the Yankees for two prospects.

Reserve outfielder Chris Denorfia likely will be traded by the Padres.

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