The Houston Astros have reportedly acquired veteran LHP Scott Kazmir from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for minor leaguers RHP Daniel Mengden and C Jacob Nottingham, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. As of now, both clubs have confirmed the trade.
Sources: #Astros get Kazmir.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 23, 2015
According to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle, Kazmir is set to join the club tomorrow night in Kansas City. Scott was suppose to take the bump this afternoon against RHP Drew Hutchison and the Toronto Blue Jays, but will now be replaced by LHP Drew Pomeranz. With one less player on the club’s 25-man roster, the Athletics have recalled RHP Arnold Leon from Triple-A Nashville. As reported earlier by Sussan Slusser of the SF Chronicle, it was likely that Kazmir was going to get the boot prior to his afternoon start as many teams have been interested in him lately.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 23, 2015
As reported by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, The Blue Jays, Royals, and Dodgers were the three most interested teams listening in on trade offers for Scott. As said by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Chicago Cubs have been the one team pushing the hardest for a starting pitcher to add to their struggling rotation.
With Kazmir now under his belt, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow had this to say about the deal: “Scott Kazmir is one of the best pitchers in the AL … winning now is a priority.”
As noted by Rosenthal, Kazmir is now exempt from a qualifying offer as a potential FA traded in the middle of a season. As also noted by Ken, the Astros reportedly preferred rental due to lower acquisition cost and are still positioned to make another move, perhaps for a bat.
Kazmir, 31, is currently being represented by Greg Genske, Brian Peters, and Scott Parker. Thus far into the 2015 season, Kazmir has posted a 2.38 ERA with a record of 5-5, having started in only 10 games this season. Previously, Scott has spent time with the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Angels, posting a career ERA of 3.95 with a record of 96-84, having appeared in a combined total of 259 games which includes 258 starts.
On the A’s side of things, 22 year old minor league right-hander Daniel Mengden has spent the past two years in the Astros organization, having pitched with a career ERA of 3.44 with a record of 6-2, having appeared in a total of 24 games, pitching in 99.1 combined innings.
20 year-old minor league catcher Jacob Nottingham has also spent the past 2 years in the Astros organization, hitting with a career slash line of .280/.352/.464 with 20 home runs and 108 RBI’s, having appeared in a total of 168 combined games played.
This is a deal that provides Houston with another starting lefty and the A’s with 2 talented young men who continue to prove themselves at the minor league level and can hopefully provide the A’s with incredible talent at the Major League level sometime in the near future.