Scott Kazmir traded to Angels

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 13: Pitcher Scott Kazmir #19 of the Tampa Bay Rays starts against the New York Yankees on April 13, 2009 at Tropicana Field  in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Justin HulseyCorrespondent IAugust 31, 2009

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After a couple days of conflicting reports, it is official, the Angels have acquired Rays’ starting pitcher and former ace Scott Kazmir.

The trade that sent Kaz to Southern Cal for three solid prospects was announced yesterday afternoon. The three prospects include minor league pitcher Alexander Torres and infielder Matthew Sweeney.

The 25 year old Scott Kazmir has spent most of his career being known as the next big thing. Five years ago, he was one of the most hyped prospects in all of baseball. This is the first season he has really had problems pitching.

He has a career ERA of 3.92 and has a, believe it or not, a winning record with what once was the worst team in the Majors. This season however, Kazmir has had some injury issues that may be the main excuse for an awful year on the mound. In 111 innings pitched, Kazmir is 8-7, has a 5.92 ERA, and is on pace to have let up more hits than innings.

Some would think a change of senery is all he needed. I on the other hand, would not look too far into it. He is playing for a better team, but that is really all that changed.

His value to a fantasy owner should stay right where it is. He isn’t changing leagues, the Rays and Angels have very similar ballpark dimensions, the two teams have almost identical run support, and have comparable bullpens.

Kazmir is owned in about 85% of leagues. That number will rise, but I wouldn’t get too excited if I was part of that 85%.

While most are caught up in the Angels side of things, don’t forget that there is always another end of the spectrum.

With the departure of Kazmir makes room in the rotation for another Rays arm. There are basically two options here and both would be call-ups:

Wade Davis: 10-7, 3.26 ERA, 151 IP in AAA
Andy Sonnanstine: 5-3, 4.40, 57 IP in AAA

Considering Davis is a 23 year old prospect, and Sonnanstine is a 34 year old wash up, I think this decision has already been made.

In a 12+ team, deep league, it wouldn’t be a horrible idea to pick him up if you need another pitching option.

Many have compared this potential call-up to last season and David Price’s promotion. Davis isn’t near the prospect that Price is, but could have a similar effect in September and, possibly, after.

Until next time, take it easy.

- Jay -

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