There has been constant speculation this season that Scott Kazmir will be dealt by the Oakland Athletics before the July 31st trade deadline. The rumors have been so prevalent that it is practically regarded as a fact.
On Saturday night, in front of scouts from a slew of contending teams around the American League, Kazmir pitched a gem – possibly the best game he’s pitched all season. After a shortened start before the All-Star Game due to triceps soreness, Kazmir showed that he still has everything working, as he struck out five in 8 1/3 shutout innings. His ERA now sits at 2.38, good enough for the fifth top spot in the AL.
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It seemed as if Kazmir put on his best possible show for all of those scouts, and one cannot help but get the feeling that it just might be the last time we see Scott Kazmir in a green and gold uniform.
Oakland Athletics’ fans know all too well what it feels like to lose their favorite players. When a player’s contract is coming to an end, as Scott Kazmir’s two-year, $22 million deal is, fans expectantly wait to hear the news of a new deal with a new team. This happened several times after the 2014 season with pitchers like Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, but they were short-term rentals anyway. There’s something different about the Oakland Athletics and Scott Kazmir.
When Kazmir joined the A’s in 2014, he had been off the radar, trying to make his way back after leaving the Major League scene for a couple of years. After a mostly solid year in Cleveland, Billy Beane saw enough in Kazmir to sign him, and he went on to make the All-Star team during his first year with the Oakland Athletics. A better comeback could not have been scripted, and this year, he’s having his best season yet.
In all too typical fashion, the Oakland Athletics bring in players ripe for a fresh start, their career takes off with the A’s, and then they get picked up by another, “richer” team. The story is getting old for A’s fans, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be rewritten anytime soon, and especially not with Scott Kazmir.