Astros Swing Trade For Ace Scott Kazmir
The Houston Astros had been looking for a strong arm to beef up and already dangerous pitching rotation. The Oakland Athletics, out of playoff contention, were looking to get assets in return for one of their top players.
It was a match made in MLB trade heaven.
Houston, tied to numerous aces throughout the summer, finally landed one, with a trade netting Oakland’s Scott Kazmir.
Kazmir had enjoyed a solid season with the A’s despite not always getting the best run support from Oakland’s offense. Kazmir still found a way to a respectable 5-5 record, while posting a stellar 2.38 ERA and fanning 101 batters.
It’s a big loss for the Athletics on the mound, but with Kazmir ready to hit free agency in 2016, the team likely knew he was on his way out, no matter what. The deal allows a losing Oakland squad to accrue some quality assets, while they don’t have to risk losing a quality pitcher for nothing after the season is up.
In return for one of baseball’s better pitchers, the Athletics received catcher Jacob Nottingham and pitcher Daniel Mengden. Nottingham nor Mengend were necessarily viewed as elite prospects prior to this trade, but are still two solid assets for a rebuilding Athletics team to groom in the minor leagues. That being said, the Astros come away as the big winner here, and it’s by a wide margin.
The Oakland A’s weren’t going anywhere this season, but the Houston Astros were holding serious division title and playoff hopes even before this deal went down. Things were starting to turn for the worse recently, however, as the red-hot Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim stormed ahead to take over first place. Just two games back, the Astros were still very much in the race for the top spot in the AL West, but clearly saw they needed one more top shelf arm to combat L.A.’s offense.
Kazmir gives the Astros that much-needed extra arm, as he’s likely to fall in line behind Astros aces, Dallas Keuchel, Colin McHugh and Lance McCullers. Kazmir could even be boosted up in the rotation and serve as high as second, right behind Keuchel. Regardless of where he fits in, Kazmir absolutely gives Houston’s defense a boost and their already strong 25/1 odds to win this year’s World Series just got even greater.
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