The Oakland Athletics signed 29-year-old lefty Scott Kazmir to a two-year, $22 million deal on Monday, pending a successful physical exam. But why?
The A’s have been known for their deep pitching depth, especially in their farm system. Sonny Gray, Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, and Dan Straily were penciled in as 2014 starters for the club. That left a void that could have been filled by injury-prone Brett Anderson or proven right-handed veteran Bartolo Colon. This signing of Kazmir pretty much dispels any hope of Anderson or Colon being with the club in 2014.
Anderson, despite his injuries, has shown he can pitch at the highest level, and throwing him in the fifth spot might now have been a bad idea to start the year.
Colon, when on the field not serving any suspensions for PED use, was for the most part sensational during his time in Oakland.
In an organization that prides itself on not overpaying its players yet gaining a lot of productivity, this signing plainly makes no sense. In 2009, he went 10-9 with a 4.89 ERA. In 2010, he recorded a 9-15 record to go with a whopping 5.94 ERA. Out of the game for the next two seasons, the A’s felt that his 10-9 season with the Indians in which he had a 4.04 ERA was worth $11 million per season. On top of that, he only threw 158 innings, which equals out to a little over five innings per start.
We will see if this signing proves to be a disappointment next season. On paper it certainly seems like it might pan out that way, but baseball is an unpredictable game.