Scott Kazmir was drafted by the New York Mets as the 15th overall pick in the first round of the 2002 MLB amateur draft. Kazmir's time with the New York Mets came to an end when he was traded with Jose Diaz to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato.
The trade took place in July of 2004 and Kazmir eventually made his major league debut with the Devil Rays on August 23, 2004. He was 20 years old when he made his first major league start. He went 2-3 with a 5.67 ERA in 2004.
Despite a rough welcome to the big leagues, Kazmir was given another shot in 2005. In Kazmir's rookie year of 2005 he went 10-9 with a solid 3.77 ERA. Kazmir continued to impress as he had four straight seasons with his ERA in the threes (including 2005). Kazmir looked like a budding star until his career started to get derailed in 2009.
Kazmir had a tough season in 2009. He did not look like the same pitcher that he was from 2005-2008. He was traded to the Los Angeles Angels in August of 2009. Kazmir had an up-and-down time with the Angels, with most of his time there being "down." He was released by the team yesterday.
Kazmir's career went into an all-out nosedive since 2009. A two-time All-Star is now seen as a minor league player by many people. Kazmir will have a lot of catching up to do if he wants to revert back to his 2005-2008 form. His velocity has been rapidly decreasing and many people believe that he will need some sort of surgery on his shoulder.
But Kazmir is still only 27 years old. His best days might very well be behind him, but he has not technically entered the "prime" of his career. Kazmir will be a risk for whatever team acquires him, but he might be classified as a low-risk, high-reward player. I totally agree with that. Kazmir is a perfect example of a low-risk, high-reward player if he is available on the cheap.
This is why I think that Sandy Alderson and the New York Mets should take a good look at Kazmir and give him a chance to come full circle and redeem his career. The Mets can use some talent and Kazmir certainly does have talent.
The worst-case scenario is that Kazmir doesn't pan out, and if that is the case then the Mets can let him go or they can stick him in the minor leagues. The Mets' minor league pitching depth is currently very thin due to injuries and Scott Kazmir could help.
Kazmir could be picked up by the Mets and assigned to the minor leagues. He could work on his pitches down there and hopefully re-discover his starting form. Or the Mets can look into some sort of surgery for Kazmir if it is necessary.
If Kazmir has success in the minors then the Mets could give him a shot in the bigs and if he impresses then he will be a fantastic pitcher to have in the rotation. He could also be a long reliever. Either way he is a talented left-handed pitcher and it would be a great move for the Mets if they pick him up.
The Mets should definitely be interested in acquiring Kazmir. He will be a low-risk, high-reward player for the team and they can use as many low-risk, high-reward players as they can get due to their limited amount of money. This can turn out to be a fantastic move for the Mets and it would also make for a great story for Kazmir. He could come full circle and possibly revive his career in New York with the Mets. I like the sound of that and I'm sure that every other Mets fan does too.