5. Scott Kazmir
Scott Kazmir is usually remembered for his run with the Tampa Bay Rays, but his final All Star nod came as a member of the Oakland Athletics.
He appeared destined to be the ace the Rays needed, a strikeout artist who was the best pitcher in their short history before being sent to the Angels. Kazmir flamed out in Anaheim, plagued by injuries and wildness. He made a surprisingly strong comeback with the Indians in 2013, signing with the A’s that offseason.
With Oakland in 2014, he looked like the pitcher he used to be in Tampa Bay. Kazmir posted a 15-9 record with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.161 WHiP, striking out 161 batters with just 60 walks, making the All Star Game for the final time. He was a key piece in the A’s Wild Card team, and continue to pitch well into 2015.
However, the A’s had plummeted down the standings, leading to his being traded to the Astros. In return, Oakland received Daniel Mengden and Jacob Nottingham. While Mengden has bounced back and forth between the bullpen, rotation, and AAA over the past four years, Nottingham was the key piece for Oakland. Although he never reached the majors with the A’s, he was part of the package that brought Khris Davis to town.
Nearly five years later, Scott Kazmir is still paying dividends for the Oakland Athletics. His trade tree is still going strong.