Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Royals Finalize $70 Million Deal with Ian Kennedy

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Royals Finalize $70 Million Deal with Ian Kennedy

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When the call came in, Ian Kennedy was on vacation in Kauai, Hawaii. It was Royals general manger Dayton Moore on the other end.

The first day of a 10-day trip couldn't have started better for Kennedy as he and Moore agreed to terms on a five-year deal worth $70 million.

"I was pretty relaxed and I wasn't stressed out too much," Kennedy said on Friday at FanFest at Bartle Hall.

There was just one problem in getting together to finalize the deal. Moore was in the Dominican Republic at the time, so they chose FanFest to celebrate the completion of the contract. The right- handed Kennedy will make $7.5 million this season, $13.5 million in 2017, $16 million in 2018 and $16.5 million in 2019 and 2020. The deal contains a $6 million out clause after the 2017 season.

Kennedy, a nine-year veteran, went 9-15 with a 4.28 ERA in 30 starts covering 1681/3 innings for the San Diego Padres last season. The Royals were in the market for another starter after Johnny Cueto signed a six-year, $130 million deal with the San Francisco Giants.

It was during the Royals' run to the 2015 World Series that Kennedy started to zero in on Kansas City as a potential landing spot during free agency.

"If you're a fan of baseball, you're a fan of the Royals," Kennedy said. "They're relentless. In the playoffs, you don't win playoff games late like they did, the fashion that they did unless you have the grit and that gut.

"I've always wanted to play with guys like that. And the good teams that I've played on, they've had guys like that. It's been a while, but you see it on TV, and you see that they play unbelievable defense. They're talented and they have that excitement and that makes me excited to hop right in. I'm just going to be myself and help this team win."

Kennedy likely will be in the middle of the rotation following Edinson Volquez and Yordano Ventura. The Royals previously re- signed right-hander Chris Young to help shore up the rotation. Kris Medlen also returns and left-hander Danny Duffy also figures to be in the mix during spring training. …

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