The Oakland Athletics were bounced out of the MLB playoffs in 2013 and like always, Athletics general manager Billy Beane is now taking the proper steps to make a much longer run in the 2014 postseason. With that being said, Beane went into the offseason with a handful of pending free agents as Grant Balfour and Bartolo Colon both ventured out onto the open market.
Colon was absolutely masterful in 2013 with a career-low 2.65 ERA in 30 starts. However, Colon turns 41 next season, which apparently worried Beane and forced him to look elsewhere for some veteran starting pitching. For that, the Athletics turn to journeyman left-hander Scott Kazmir who reportedly agreed to a two-year contract worth $22 million with Oakland on Monday.
Kazmir is coming off a great season with the Cleveland Indians as the 29-year-old starter brings a career 4.16 ERA to the Bay. While Kazmir has battled injuries seemingly his entire career, he has also proven himself with multiple teams and should find a home in the pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum. Kazmir isn’t nearly as consistent as Colon, but you can’t knock the Athletics for replacing their All-Star starter with an established left-hander.
At the end of the day; the Kazmir signing puts an end to the Colon era in the Oakland as the 40-year-old is likely to receive numerous offers in the coming weeks.