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Monday, December 02, 2013

Athletics To Sign Scott Kazmir

Presumably on Rick Peterson’s recommendation.

The A’s and Scott Kazmir have reached an agreement on a two-year, $22MM contract, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio (Twitter link)...

Kazmir, who turns 30 next month, reemerged as a legitimate Major League starter in 2013… After pitching to a 5.54 ERA in 299 innings from 2009-11 and seeing his average fastball velocity drop below 87 mph, Kazmir returned with a 92.5 mph heater and posted a 4.04 ERA In 158 innings for the Indians. He averaged 9.2 strikeouts and 2.7 walks per nine innings to go along with a 40.9 percent ground-ball rate…

The Kazmir signing likely puts an end to Oakland’s interest in a reunion with Bartolo Colon. Kazmir figures to join a rotation that includes Sonny Gray, Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin and one of Tommy Milone, Dan Straily and Brett Anderson. Anderson, who makes $8MM in 2014 and has a $12MM option for the 2015 season, appears to become a prime trade candidate as a result of this signing (if he wasn’t already).

The District Attorney Posted: December 02, 2013 at 04:03 PM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, free agents, indians, scott kazmir, transactions

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. jdennis Posted: December 02, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4608898)
Hudson must be convinced the Giants will contend and must not think the A's will contend.
   2. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 02, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4608902)
I like the signing. It has my seal of approval.
   3. zonk Posted: December 02, 2013 at 04:59 PM (#4608914)
Good for him.

I like comeback stories
   4. SG Posted: December 02, 2013 at 05:17 PM (#4608942)
I think I might rather have Colon if he'd have signed for the same thing.
   5. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 02, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4608947)
I like this a lot just because Kazmir's comeback to usefulness is so great.
   6. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 02, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4608951)
I hate this. As an Angel fan I really don't want to see him return to usefulness for a rival. I completely ignored him last year - as I do with all things Cleveland - by this is a problem.

   7. Davo Dozier Posted: December 02, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4608953)
He pitched fewer than 6 innings in 14 of his 29 starts this year. OTTOMH that seems like a terribly low figure--anyone know how bad it is actually?

...Courtesy of BB-Ref, I see that Kazmir's 2013 was the 35th season in history in which a pitcher made 29 starts or more while failing to qualify for the ERA title. (3 other pitchers joined him last year: Juan Nicasio, Mike Pelfrey, and the always-popular Phil Hughes.)
   8. Poster Nutbag Posted: December 02, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4608960)
Love this deal. Ton of upside and he progressively looked better as the season went on.
   9. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 02, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4608972)
I like this a lot just because Kazmir's comeback to usefulness is so great.


Which is probably a sign that people are expecting too much from him.
   10. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 02, 2013 at 05:45 PM (#4608975)
I too love this for the A's. The back story of Kazmir's resurgence is terrific too. It's best that he ends up with a team who knows how to cobble together a useful bullpen most years and I believe Oakland fits that description, because with Kazmir you're going to need it.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2013 at 05:47 PM (#4608976)
I thought he was wild and inconsistent before his career went into the crapper. Nice to see him come back, but I wouldn't commit that kind of money into him.
   12. Sweatpants Posted: December 02, 2013 at 05:52 PM (#4608982)
He pitched fewer than 6 innings in 14 of his 29 starts this year. OTTOMH that seems like a terribly low figure--anyone know how bad it is actually?

...Courtesy of BB-Ref, I see that Kazmir's 2013 was the 35th season in history in which a pitcher made 29 starts or more while failing to qualify for the ERA title. (3 other pitchers joined him last year: Juan Nicasio, Mike Pelfrey, and the always-popular Phil Hughes.)
Nicasio pitched fewer than six innings in 21 starts this year (out of 31), which is the second-most sub-six-inning starts in a season. The most is 22, which Jeff Francis accomplished with the Rockies last year (in 24 starts).
   13. Davo Dozier Posted: December 02, 2013 at 05:59 PM (#4608988)
I'll, uh, I'll state that I really do not like this deal at all. He's horribly inconsistent, he's never been able to pitch deep into games, and he really wasn't all that great in his "comeback" season last year.

I mean...God, anything over like 1/$5MM just seems like way too much.

Here's hoping I'm wrong, because I like the A's and I'm rooting for Kazmir.
   14. PreservedFish Posted: December 02, 2013 at 06:03 PM (#4608994)
I mean...God, anything over like 1/$5MM just seems like way too much.


Oh, I think this is wrong. Kazmir was clearly worth more than a few bucks last year (1.1 bWAR, 2.5 fWAR) - 160 solid innings - I'm not surprised he's making $10 million a year. The guaranteed second year is the surprise to me.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4608999)
Jason Vargas got $8 mill per and was a 1.8 WAR pitcher last year. Kazmir hasn't put up 1.8 WAR since George W Bush was President.
   16. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 02, 2013 at 06:25 PM (#4609003)
(1.1 bWAR, 2.5 fWAR)


What? Is this kind of discrepancy normal?
   17. SG Posted: December 02, 2013 at 06:27 PM (#4609006)
What? Is this kind of discrepancy normal?


If by normal you mean common, yes. Just look for pitchers whose BABIP against diverges significantly from league average in either direction.
   18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 02, 2013 at 06:34 PM (#4609016)
This feels very risky to me. I guess they have the SP depth to cope if he falls apart again.
   19. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: December 02, 2013 at 06:41 PM (#4609019)
What? Is this kind of discrepancy normal?

The White Sox' two best pitchers both had rather sizeable bWAR/fWAR discrepancies:

Chris Sale 6.9 bWAR, 5.1 fWAR
Jose Quintana 5.4 bWAR, 3.7 fWAR
   20. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: December 02, 2013 at 06:46 PM (#4609023)
I'm glad people seem reasonably happy about this because that seems like a nutty amount of money to give Scott Kazmir to me.

Maybe they can get Victor Zambrano on a minor league deal.
   21. PreservedFish Posted: December 02, 2013 at 06:48 PM (#4609024)
What? Is this kind of discrepancy normal?


We just talked about this on the Ricky Nolasco thread. Fangraphs has Nolasco as a terrific pitcher, frequently among the top 50 starters or so. B-Ref has him as an acceptable back of the rotation guy.
   22. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 02, 2013 at 06:50 PM (#4609027)
(1.1 bWAR, 2.5 fWAR)

What? Is this kind of discrepancy normal?

bRef's pitching war is based on RA, FG's is based on FIP (i.e. K/BB/HR)
   23. Willie Mayspedester Posted: December 02, 2013 at 06:50 PM (#4609028)
Not sure if he'll stay healthy but at least they didn't lose a draft pick and he was very good in the 2nd half of last year. Lines up nicely with Cespedes' contract so they will have money to spend in 2016. If he's right he could be a playoff starter.

I wonder if Brett Anderson will get traded for something useful.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: December 02, 2013 at 06:55 PM (#4609034)
Just look for pitchers whose BABIP against diverges significantly from league average in either direction.


Fangraphs is also kinder to pitchers that have problems with, for example, pitching with runners on base. Guys like Lincecum and Liriano look better because of that.
   25. tfbg9 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 08:40 PM (#4609082)
If you are an A's fan, you hope the 2nd half of '13 is the real deal Kazmir.
   26. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: December 02, 2013 at 09:42 PM (#4609104)
the more I think about this, the more I think I would rather have just made a qualifying offer to Bartolo Colon
   27. The District Attorney Posted: December 02, 2013 at 09:49 PM (#4609108)
he progressively looked better as the season went on.
Well, everyone on the Indians looked better as the season went on. They faced like one good team after the All-Star break.

I would have loved for the Mets to get Kazmir for the $16M/2 yr or such that I think a lot of people were expecting. I think it would have had "fan service" value above and beyond his value as a pitcher, which itself is pretty considerable. It wouldn't have been prudent, though, at this price. There isn't enough short-term payoff in it for the Mets to spend that much for a "six-inning pitcher" who has to be managed very carefully. I have little doubt, though, that the A's will handle him well, and their team is good enough that doing so will be worth it.

The Mets have apparently been talking to Bronson Arroyo, and although I don't have nearly as much of an emotional investment in that, I have to admit it's more logical. You could give him the same per year for a couple more years and feel okay about it. He's pretty much a workhorse.
   28. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:40 PM (#4609145)
the more I think about this, the more I think I would rather have just made a qualifying offer to Bartolo Colon

My thought too, but it's unlikely he would have taken it. This is more than I would have thought Kazmir was going to get...not a lot more, but more. Just surprises me that the A's were in on him.
   29. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 02, 2013 at 11:25 PM (#4609189)
the more I think about this, the more I think I would rather have just made a qualifying offer to Bartolo Colon

I didn't need to think about this at all. 1/$14M for Colon seemed like a no-brainer to me. If he declines and signs elsewhere a draft pick is good. If he declines and signs with the A's that's good too. There was no scenario where this was a bad deal for Oakland to make the QO.
Anderson, who makes $8MM in 2014 and has a $12MM option for the 2015 season, appears to become a prime trade candidate as a result of this signing (if he wasn’t already).

Why? What do the A's need so badly that they should trade Anderson who could be their best pitcher in 2014? They need to replace Balfour but they don't need to trade Anderson to achieve that.
   30. PreservedFish Posted: December 02, 2013 at 11:37 PM (#4609201)
There was no scenario where this was a bad deal for Oakland to make the QO.


The uncertainty must have been too much for Beane to handle. The threat of Bartolo accepting the QO would possibly force Beane to leave his team $14 million under budget until he knew for sure, and then possibly too late to pay anyone to fill that gap.
   31. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 02, 2013 at 11:56 PM (#4609209)
The uncertainty must have been too much for Beane to handle. The threat of Bartolo accepting the QO would possibly force Beane to leave his team $14 million under budget until he knew for sure, and then possibly too late to pay anyone to fill that gap.

Of course he would have known for sure in a matter of days, so I'm guessing this is sarcasm.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: December 03, 2013 at 12:06 AM (#4609214)
No, I'm just an idiot and did not understand the QO rules.
   33. Davo Dozier Posted: December 03, 2013 at 12:15 AM (#4609223)
If you are an A's fan, you hope the 2nd half of '13 is the real deal Kazmir.


His final 23 starts: 130 innings, 132 Ks, 37 walks, 3.54 ERA.

His final 18 starts: 103 innings, 107 Ks, 24 walks, 3.06 ERA.
   34. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 03, 2013 at 12:47 AM (#4609247)
And now Jemile Weeks for Jim Johnson. I see this as a no-lose proposition.
   35. PreservedFish Posted: December 03, 2013 at 12:54 AM (#4609249)
I see Weeks as almost valueless at this point, and Johnson is a solid reliever. But when did Beane start buying into the Proven Closer thing?
   36. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 03, 2013 at 12:56 AM (#4609251)
I think around 2004 when he paid Arthur Rhodes several million US dollars when US dollars were still worth something.
   37. Greg K Posted: December 03, 2013 at 01:04 AM (#4609255)
I guess Jim Johnson for 1/10 is better than Balfour or Nathan for whatever they end up costing?

Johnson does seem very good at everything except striking people out...which admittedly is a fairly important part of pitching.
   38. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 03, 2013 at 01:06 AM (#4609259)
OK but there's no rule that says you have to sign Balfour, Nathan or Johnson. Is Johnson any better than Doolittle, Cook or Otero? I'm not sure that he is.
   39. cmd600 Posted: December 03, 2013 at 01:06 AM (#4609260)
What? Is this kind of discrepancy normal?


Not just FIP vs RA, but BB-ref adjusts that RA for park factors, which helped Kazmir a little, and opponents, which helped Kazmir a lot. Seriously, before counting on a repeat of that second half, check who he faced.
   40. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 03, 2013 at 01:14 AM (#4609265)
Apparently a PTBNL not on the A's 40-man also going to Baltimore.
   41. Textbook Editor Posted: December 03, 2013 at 01:27 AM (#4609271)
I guess Jim Johnson for 1/10 is better than Balfour or Nathan for whatever they end up costing?


If he manages to keep his "proven closer" status in the first 2/3 of the year, ~1/3 of that salary is very much able to be recouped in a deadline deal trade in the worst-case scenario where they are way out of contention for the playoffs come July 31st.

   42. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 03, 2013 at 01:36 AM (#4609276)
I'd trade him on July 31 even if the A's are contending. Call it the Billy Taylor strategy.
   43. escabeche Posted: December 03, 2013 at 01:37 AM (#4609277)
Is this a pure salary dump for Baltimore? Unless I'm missing something about Jamile Weeks, I'm not sure why he's a better option than sticking Ryan Flaherty out there every day.
   44. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 03, 2013 at 01:49 AM (#4609284)
It's a pure salary dump unless the PTBNL is somebody better than Jemile Weeks. It can't be Addison Russell. The next best A's tradeable prospects are Daniel Robertson, Renato Nunez, Matt Olson, BJ Boyd, Chris Bostick and Nolan Sanburn. Ronald Herrera is interesting. Anyone else won't be missed most likely, but could possibly turn into Alexi Ogando or Nelson Cruz.
   45. Andy McGeady Posted: December 03, 2013 at 07:11 AM (#4609314)
The Kazmir signing likely puts an end to Oakland’s interest in a reunion with Bartolo Colon

I get what the writer means but this is a weird juxtaposition of players.
   46. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 03, 2013 at 07:43 AM (#4609318)
Where is all this money coming from?

I guess high AAV and low years leaves the team lots of flexibility to totally gut it if they want to depending on what happens with the stadium situation.
   47. bob gee Posted: December 03, 2013 at 09:15 AM (#4609338)
i guess he couldn't have gotten kazmir on a 1 yr deal with a team option for the 2nd? that seems like a bunch of money for him.

even though balfour did well the past couple years, i understand letting him go. weeks wasn't going to get another chance in oakland, and if johnson's 1/10, that works nicely from the a's point of view. am surprised baltimore dumped johnson.
   48. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 03, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4609693)
Athletics acquire OF Craig Gentry and RHP Josh Lindblom from #Rangers for OF Michael Choice and minor league IF Chris Bostick

Billy Beane needs to cut back on the caffeine. Weird intra-division challenge trade.

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