Oakland Athletics Trade Scott Kazmir For Future Catcher, Reliever

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Jul 18, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Scott Kazmir (26) pitches during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The time has finally come. Scott Kazmir has been at the epicenter of a whirlwind of trade rumors for what seems like months. On Thursday, the Oakland Athletics traded their second strongest starting pitcher to the Houston Astros in exchange for two prospects playing High-A minor league ball.

Right-handed pitcher Daniel Mengden and catcher Jacob Nottingham (who fans are already endearingly calling “The Sheriff”) are the two new additions to the A’s minor league system.

The fact that the two players the A’s got in return for Kazmir are only in High-A comes as a surprise, as it was widely reported that the A’s were going to be seeking Triple-A talent to fill in the Major League roster next season. But if the A’s were going to acquire personnel beneath the Triple-A level, then starting pitching and catcher would be the places they would do it.

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Consider the players already available to the A’s at these two positions. Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, and Sean Nolin are all considered important pieces of the A’s starting rotation going forward, and they will not be free agents until 2018, 2019, and 2021 respectively. At catcher, Stephen Vogt and Josh Phegley are under club control until 2020 and 2021 respectively. It makes sense that Billy Beane was willing to acquire extra-young talent at these positions.

The A’s absolutely need more depth in the bullpen and infield after this. Expect them to actually seek out Triple-A players that are near Major League ready with the upcoming trades of Ben Zobrist and Tyler Clippard.

But for now, everyone is wondering what Mengden and Nottingham bring to the organization. Here is a closer look at the new Stockton Ports.