Athletics Sign Scott Kazmir

Amidst the whirlwind of moves related to the non-tender deadline, the Oakland A’s swooped in and signed former Met phenom Scott Kazmir to a two-year, $22M deal — while also trading for closer Jim Johnson.

Surely, there were at least a few Mets fans hoping for the return of the lefthanded Kazmir, who had originally been banished from the organization thanks in part to the brilliant advice offered to the Mets front office by two veteran pitchers (who also happened to be lefthanded). But there was more to interest in Kazmir for nostalgia’s sake — it was logical to believe he’d be a good fit in Flushing. As eloquently stated by loyal MetsToday reader and commenter “DaveSchneck”:

How is it that the small market low budget As can afford a $22 million bet on Kazmir and a closer that may cost $10 million in 2014, while the Mets/Alderson hem and haw over the prices and the percentage of payroll committed to one player?

Good point, no?

Another loyal MT reader/commenter, NormE, responded with this:

To answer your question, take your choice:
a) Beane and Rizzo are better than Alderson as a GM.
b) Alderson’s value approach (dumpster diving) is at odds with the market.
c) The Wilpons have tied Alderson’s hands due to budgetary reasons.
d) all of the above.

Hmmm … what do you think? Do any/all of NormE’s suggestions apply? Is there another reason? Do you think it would have made sense for the Mets to make a pitch for Kazmir (pardon the pun)? Why or why not? Answer in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. argman December 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm
    In regards to Norm E’s explanation, I say “d,” all of the above. Alderson is beginning to remind me of a customer I used to have, a really nice guy who couldn’t pull the trigger on making a deal. He wound up getting forced out of position after position until he left the industry. If this was a game of Musical Chairs, it seems like Alderson (at least the version that works for the Wilpons) will always be the one left standing.
  2. DanB December 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm
    This is why newspapers need to assign a business writer to cover the Mets. We debate over which $750,000 shortstop to acquire while bankers and the Wilpons negotiate terms for about half a billion dollars worth of loans. Which do you think will effect the Mets more on field? Are the bankers influencing player signings? This is what I care about.
  3. Sidd Finch December 3, 2013 at 7:11 pm
    e) the Wilpons are drowning in debt, using available funds to pay back loans and therefore really can’t afford operating a MLB team, especially one located in MLB’s largest market.
  4. argonbunnies December 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm
    Unless someone out there has a better explanation for Kazmir’s path than he does (“I was pitching in independent ball and it just came back!”), I’d call 2013 a fluke and $22 mil an overpay.

    But maybe the A’s see something mechanical that actually explains Kazmir’s last 5 years. If so, kudos to them.

    • Sidd Finch December 3, 2013 at 8:15 pm
      According to KLaw Kazmir tweaked his delivery, which gave him better leverage and more torso rotation, and also reduced the stress on his arm. This has also added a couple of ticks to his fastball as well. Plus, his slider has become an effective pitch too. Pitching half his games at the cavernous Coliseum won’t hurt either.