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Diamondbacks send Ian Kennedy to Padres for bullpen help

By Scott Miller | Senior Baseball Columnist

Ian Kennedy (finger) will have his start pushed back a few days. (USATSI)
Ian Kennedy went 48-34 in three-plus seasons with Arizona, including 21-4 in 2011. (USATSI)

Looking to beef up a late-innings relief corps that is tied for second in the majors with 19 blown saves, the Diamondbacks completed a deal sending starter Ian Kennedy to the Padres for lefty setup man Joe Thatcher and two others, according to CBSSports.com sources.

The Diamondbacks also will receive Double-A right-hander Matt Stites and a compensation Round B draft pick in the deal.

The Angels and another unidentified team or two also had been engaging the Diamondbacks in trade discussions for Kennedy, 28, who is in the midst of a rough season.

A 21-game winner in 2011, Kennedy is 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA in 21 starts for the Diamondbacks this season. He also has a 1.419 WHIP, the worst of his career for a full season.

Among the reasons he is attractive to the Padres is that he is controllable through 2015.

Thatcher, 31, is 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA in 50 games for the Padres this summer and has been a dependable bullpen piece for them since 2009.

The Diamondbacks also like Stites, a 23-year-old reliever who is 2-2 with a 2.08 ERA and 51 strikeouts and only eight walks in 46 games (52 innings) for Double-A San Antonio this summer. Stites has 14 saves.

"He's got a real good arm," one scout familiar with Stites said.

Only the Cubs, with 22 blown saves, have coughed up more save opportunities than the Diamondbacks, who now stand 3½ games behind the scorching-hot Dodgers in the NL West.

 
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