#2 Option: The Trade Bait – Scott Kazmir
The newest face on the trade block is Oakland ace Scott Kazmir who is rolling despite his team’s early struggles.
— Max Wildstein (@MaxWildstein) May 10, 2015
The left-handed Kazmir has been dealing for the A’s and with his contract set to expire at year’s end, there are hints that the question is when, not if, he will be dealt. Oakland has been languishing in a stacked AL West this year after losing Jon Lester, Josh Donaldson, Derek Norris, Brandon Moss, and Jeff Samardzija this winter. With a rebuilt lineup and rotation, the A’s are very quickly moving towards the point of no return for a Billy Beane team where the pieces of value will be sold off.
Kazmir is by far the most valuable chip in Beane’s trade arsenal this year (assuming he doesn’t shock us all again with a Sonny Gray trade) and he is pitching on an affordable contract to boot. As with the other rentals, Kazmir ought not be as expensive as a player with contract term remaining but unlike the other rentals on this list, he is almost certainly not headed for a nine figure payday. The resurgent Kazmir will be 32 in the 2016 season and in an offseason that looks to be loaded with arms, its hard to fathom him getting a contract far exceeding the one James Shields signed with the Padres. Kazmir could be had for a reasonable trade price, and could pitch in the Red Sox rotation next year without requiring the exorbitant contract commitments that Ben Cherington has been wary of giving pitchers north of 30.
2015 Stats: 2.78 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 8.5 K/9, 3.2 BB/9
Impact: Very High