Dodgers: 3 midseason trade targets LAD should already be focused on

Dodgers RHP Ian Kennedy (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)
Dodgers RHP Ian Kennedy (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images) /
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Relief pitcher Ian Kennedy #31 of the Texas Rangers (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images) /

2. Ian Kennedy, Texas Rangers

Entering 2021, no one even expected veteran Ian Kennedy to shoulder the load at closer for the Texas Rangers.

Just over a month later, he’s leading the American League in saves and dominating for a Rangers team that’s been frisky at home, bothering top teams like the Red Sox.

IPK’s been perfect, recording 10 saves out of 14 games finished while striking out 20 in 15 innings. Does it sting a little bit that Kennedy could’ve been a Dodger on a flier this offseason instead of Knebel or Jimmy Nelson? Sure. Yeah.

The Dodgers can easily rectify this omission if they believe Kennedy’s steadiness has been for real, though, and as a pure rental, he won’t cost an overload of prospect depth. Kennedy’s been excellent in Texas, but he’s not exactly controllable.

Los Angeles should contract the Rangers as the deadline approaches, cross the top five names on their prospect list right off, and ask them to pick from the back end of the top 10. Kennedy’s only been a full-time reliever since 2019, a season where he also dominated in Kansas City (73 Ks in 63.1 innings pitched, 140 ERA+).

His 2020 was a wash (14 earned runs in 14 unpleasant innings), but he’s rebounded nicely and is approaching All-Star status in 2021. He’d … certainly be better than Mitch White, right?