The A’s and Billy Beane aren’t shying away from shaking up their roster this off-season. They’ve already sent away an all star in Josh Donaldson and are in talks with multiple teams about trading all stars Jeff Samardzija and Brandon Moss. But, with the A’s claiming to be aiming for a re-tool rather than a re-build, Scott Kazmir could follow Donaldson on a plane departing from Oakland.
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Kazmir is a left-handed pitcher, who was an all star last season and has one year left on his contract. He had a successful 2014 campaign after being injury-plagued for a few years, but sort of ran out of steam towards the end of the year. Kaz had a 3.55 ERA in 2014 and a 1.161 WHIP in 190 innings, his most innings pitched since 2007. His pre- and post-all star splits are my main concern with him: a 2.38 ERA in the first half and a 5.42 in the second.
At 30, and with injuries in the past, Kazmir is obviously not a top-tier rotation man, but could be a useful 3-4 in the right situation. Kaz obviously won’t yield the same catch that Samardzija would if he were traded, but with Jon Lester ready to soon make his decision, Kaz could be a back-up plan for any of the teams in the running on Lester.
Kazmir, a career 4.07 ERA in 10 seasons, would be a cheaper option, and more short-term obviously, but would bolster a rotation instantly if he could pitch the way he did in the first half of last season.
With the A’s looking to add prospects this off-season, while also trying to keep the A’s competitive, it’d make more sense to keep an ace like Samardzija on the roster. The market is full of pitchers right now and a player like Samardzija would still fetch a pretty return before the trade deadline.
With Beane doing what he does, I already know he’s looking at all potential options this winter, and if he can make the A’s future brighter in a deal for Kaz, he could be the next to go. Possibly even in a package deal with one of the A’s first basemen. Although the rumors are few regarding Kazmir, Beane’s been known to work in silence before.
While the A’s look for help in the middle-infield, and boast a potentially deep rotation, the trade options really are endless.