Scott Kazmir, the Indians 2013 reclamation project extraordinaire , has officially left Cleveland for the West Coast. Like his former teammate, reliever Joe Smith, the left-handed starter is headed to the AL West. The Oakland Athletics thought enough of Kazmir to give him two years and $22 million. It is easy to disparage the signing and to say “well it is quite the risk to put $22 million into a guy who could break down at any time.” The Indians obviously know his medical history better than anyone and the going rate for a quality veteran starter on the open market is right about what Kazmir got – $11 million per season. The Giants gave Tim Hudson roughly the same ($23 million over two years).
What you can’t discount is how valuable Scott was to the 2013 rotation. He and Corey Kluber came completely out of nowhere and without their contributions, this team doesn’t win 92 games and make the playoffs. At times he was terrific, others he looked pedestrian and tired. The future for him is the great unknown and while the Indians are unwilling to gamble on Kazmir at that price, the A’s were. The thing that bothers me is that a GM like Billy Beane seems to be willing to bet on Kazmir’s future. This isn’t Seattle’s Jack Zduriencik making this move. Its one of baseball’s best front office heads. Two years is not an eternity, but I think giving Kazmir $22 million is something I wouldn’t have done. We may have seen his best in 2013 and while it was still pretty good, I would rather see the Indians go long on a one year deal with someone like Bartolo Colon or attempt to unearth another Kazmir type on the cheap. [Read more...]