Royals Sign Pitcher Ian Kennedy to a Five-Year Contract

The Kansas City Royals announced today that they have signed right-handed pitcher Ian Kennedy to a five-year deal. Consistent with club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed. To make room for Kennedy on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Louis Coleman has been designated for assignment.

Kennedy, 31, pitched for the San Diego Padres the last three seasons. He made 30 starts in 2015, going 9-15 with a 4.28 ERA, recording 174 strikeouts in 168.1 innings. The veteran righty posted a 5-6 mark with a 3.67 ERA after the All-Star break, holding the opposition to a .247 average. He also tallied 98 strikeouts after the break, which tied for fifth-most in the National League with Cubs' lefty Jon Lester. He matched a career-high with 12 strikeouts in his September 2 start against the Texas Rangers, one of three outings where he collected 10+ strikeouts in 2015.

He became the only National League hurler to record 30 or more starts in each of the last six seasons in 2015, while he's one of just nine pitchers to do it in the Major Leagues. His 192 starts since 2010 are the most in the Senior Circuit and tied for ninth-most in the Majors in that span.

Kennedy is entering his 10th big league season, after posting a 75-68 with a 3.98 ERA and holding the opposition to a .249 average in his first nine years in the Majors. He enjoyed his best season in 2011 with Arizona, leading the N.L. in wins (21), while setting career highs in innings (222.0), ERA (2.88), WHIP (1.09) and opponents' average (.227). The right-handed pitcher finished fourth in National League Cy Young Award voting that season. He was originally selected by the New York Yankees in the first-round of the 2006 MLB Draft (21st overall) and made his Major League debut the following season. He has pitched for the Yankees (2007-09), Arizona (2010-13) and San Diego (2013-15) in his career, making two postseason starts with the Diamondbacks in 2011.

Kennedy is a native of Huntington Beach, Calif., and currently resides in Scottsdale, Ariz., with his wife, Allison. The couple has four daughters, Nora Rose, Renee Elaine, Lydia Marie and Evelyn Nicole, who was born during the 2015 season.