In 2013, Scott Kazmir revitalized his career with the Cleveland Indians. In 2014, he'll be compensated quite handsomely for doing so, as he has reportedly signed a two-year contract with the Oakland Athletics.
The Athletics confirmed the move on Wednesday:
#Athletics agree to terms with LHP Scott Kazmir on a two-year contract.— Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) December 4, 2013
Kazmir talked about the move and his decision to move to Oakland (via Jane Lee of MLB.com):
Kazmir says there were 3 or 4 teams in the mix in the end. Cites being comfortable in AL West and at Coliseum as big reasons for decision.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) December 4, 2013
Jim Bowden of ESPN was the first to report the deal:
Kazmir agrees to 2yrs $22m deal with A's #Confirmed— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) December 2, 2013
Kazmir finished 2013 with a 10-9 record, striking out 162 batters in 158 innings en route to a 4.04 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. Not fantastic numbers, sure, but they're pretty excellent considering Kazmir pitched all of 1.2 innings in the major leagues in 2011 and 2012, as he tried to earn his way back into the show.
Is this a good move by the A's?
Cleveland took a flier on him last year and it paid off in a big way.
While he'll never be the pitcher that reached the All-Star game twice early in his career or struck out 239 batters in 206.2 innings for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2007, Kazmir is a lefty that whiffs his fair share of batters without giving up many walks. Clearly, the Athletics saw plenty of value in that fact.
This also opens up the possibility that Brett Anderson will be traded, as Bob Nightengale of USA Today notes:
It also means Bartolo Colon will in all likelihood be signing elsewhere, and for big money at that, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports:
That Scott Kazmir got an $11M AAV speaks to the size of the deal Bartolo Colon is seeking. Believes he can get multiple years for bigger $.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 2, 2013
If Kazmir can pitch like he did last year and complement a young staff that already includes A.J. Griffin, Jarrod Parker, Dan Straily, Sonny Gray and Tommy Milone, the Athletics will be a threat to reach the postseason for a third straight season.