According to a report from Susan Slusser, the Cubs were among four teams on hand last Thursday night at the Coliseum to watch LHP Scott Kazmir’s outing against the Mariners. The report from the San Francisco Chronicle indicated the Royals, Nationals and Twins were the other three teams scouting the lefty.
Scott Kazmir shut down the Mariners for eight innings. Kazmir allowed just two hits and struck out seven while not issuing a free pass. Kazmir has put together five excellent starts in a row, holding teams to two earned runs or less in four of the five outings.
Kazmir has been very good in Oakland this year. In nine home starts, Kazmir is 4-2 with a 1.40 ERA and 0.94 WHIP (11 runs, nine earned, on 33 hits with 21 walks and 55 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings). Outside of the Coliseum, Kazmir has not fared as well. In seven road starts, Kazmir is 1-3 with a 4.20 ERA and 1.38 WHIP.
For the season, the 31-year old southpaw is 5-5 in 16 games with a 2.56 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 3.24 FIP. Kazmir has allowed 33 runs, 28 earned, on 77 hits with 33 walks and 92 strikeouts in 98 1/3 innings.
It is unclear if Billy Beane is ready to trade Scott Kazmir, INF/OF Ben Zobrist and RHP Tyler Clippard. The A’s are 10 1/2 games behind the Astros, last in the AL West and 6 1/2 games behind the Orioles and Twins for the second Wild Card. But Oakland is looking up at every team in the American League for the final spot in the post-season.
Trading for a rental, like Scott Kazmir, would go against what Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have stated publicly. While the Cubs are not against trading for a rental player, the front office would prefer to acquire a player (or players) with multiple years of control so that player (or players) would be able to help the team for more than just a couple of months.
Jon Heyman recently proposed a trade that would send INF Javier Baez, INF/OF Arismendy Alcantara and 1B Dan Vogelbach to Oakland for LHP Scott Kazmir and INF/OF Ben Zobrist. It appears Heyman’s proposal is nothing more than speculation as part of a trade deadline primer.
With the Cubs in the mix for a spot in the playoffs and the prospect currency to acquire just about any player in the game, the team will likely be linked to every player available on the market.
Scott Kazmir would make sense to add to a rotation that includes Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks. Chris examined what it could cost the Cubs to trade for Kazmir as part of his player acquisition cost series. Will the Cubs’ pay the price or look at other options to improve the rotation?
Stay Tuned …