Sports Illustrated reporter John Heyman listed his winners and losers from the Winter Meetings in a column Friday, listing the D-backs among the group that did well:
8. Diamondbacks: GM Josh Byrnes is right that special starting pitching is needed in the NL West, and to that end, Edwin Jackson gives them a superb top three along with Brandon Webb and Dan Haren, who’s one of the best No. 2 starters in baseball, if not the best. Kennedy wasn’t going to be able to hack it with his soft stuff in the AL East, but Arizona believes it will translate better in their far less powerful division. They weren’t sure Max Scherzer has a varied enough repertoire to become a star in the rotation, but others think otherwise. In any case, it’s always better to trade relievers for starters and the deal Byrnes instigated clearly helps them in the short run.
On Thursday, in his assessment of the trade, Heyman also addressed Ian Kennedy’s presence in the deal:
(Kennedy) showed in the recent Arizona Fall League that he still carries the potential to fill a rotation slot in the National League. Nobody sees the Arizona league more than the D-backs, and they obviously were impressed with Kennedy, who had 28 strikeouts and just five walks in 29 2/3 AFL innings, reaching the low 90s on the radar gun.