Scott Kazmir Opts for Comeback: Should the Mets Risk It and Sign Him?

Alex GiobbiAnalyst IFebruary 15, 2012

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 08:  Scott Zazmir #19 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim throws a pitch against the Cleveland Indians on September 8, 2010 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Mets fans can remember the 2004 trading deadline with dread. That day, a legitimate prospect by the name of Scott Kazmir was traded to the (then) Tampa Bay Devil Rays for a wildly inconsistent Victor Zambrano. Needless to say, Kazmir blossomed into an All-Star, Zambrano had his moments, but altogether, was harder to watch than Mike Pelfrey on a good day. 

With the recent news that Kazmir, after a harrowing half-season in the minors is attempting a comeback, it's been tweeted by Mets beat reporter Andy Martino that the Mets have a degree of interest in reclaiming their former prospect. 

The question remains: Is it a good idea? Ever since Kazmir left Tampa Bay, he has become a problem. He can't seem to throw right, his velocity has taken a drop off, and his ERA hasn't been lower than 5. All in all, he seems to have a "Risky Investment" tag on him. 

Nonetheless, the Mets seem undeterred, and are sending a scout to watch him work out.

Granted, they aren't the only team after him, there are plenty of teams that could use a boost in their rotation, good or bad. 

Back to the question: Should the Mets sign Kazmir? Considering what they did with Jason Isringhausen last year, a former prospect who flamed out, then found success with other teams, then came back, it would be an interesting novelty sign.

Considering their rotation has a couple of cracks in its foundation, for example, a former ace coming off season ending surgery (Johan Santana), a starter who is good but has injury woes by the time August comes around (Jon Niese), an inconsistent pitcher whose source of calm passed away before the 2011 season (Pelfrey) and a promising young starter who hit the rookie wall (Dillon Gee) it wouldn't be a bad idea to carry a little insurance.

Kazmir knows he's devalued, so a large contract is not going to be a problem, in fact it would be a good idea to give him a minor deal. He pitches a few starts in the Spring, sees if he still has his command, if he's good, he either makes the team or spends a little time in Extended Spring Training, and becomes an emergency starter/bullpen option, or he won't make the team and at the worst, spends the season in the minors.

Nonetheless, it's a good idea for GM Sandy Alderson, who said that the Mets needed some rotation help, and yet throughout the offseason did not address the issue, instead opting to fix the bullpen and grab a leadoff hitter to replace the departed Jose Reyes.

Considering the shoestring budget the Mets are on, signing Kazmir might actually not be a bad idea. After all, he's only 28, has three pitches in his arsenal, and, if he's at his best, can throw some high 90's heat. All in all, it would be a good idea to look at him, but when it comes to signing him, the Mets should offer him a minor league deal.