After the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim released Scott Kazmir during the 2011 season, there wasn’t much interest in the left-hander with struggling command. Now, he just earned a $48 million contract over three years from the Los Angeles Dodgers. And he’s looking forward to his first season in the National League.
Kazmir found himself toiling away outside of the minors, just looking for anything in the independent circuit. The Cleveland Indians came calling in 2013, and they gave him a shot. He pitched decently enough that the Oakland Athletics signed him. Kazmir rewarded their faith with an All-Star appearance.
The soon-to-be 32-year-old lefty pitched extremely well in 2015, and the Athletics traded him away to the Houston Astros on July 23rd. Kazmir struggled a little bit with the Astros, but the Dodgers saw enough to sign him. So, how does Kazmir feel? Well, he’s looking forward to his first NL season.
From Tim Singer at MLB.com:
“Ultimately,” he added, “we narrowed it down to three or four. A new league — I’m comfortable with that. It’ll be interesting.”
That comfort level could be on display extremely early, as Kazmir has had fast starts each of the last two seasons – a 2.38 ERA in the first half of 2014 and a 2.49 ERA in the first half of 2015.
If Kazmir performs anywhere close to the level that he did in those two seasons, but is able to sustain the success over the entire campaign, then the Dodgers could have a steal at just $16 million per year.
Kazmir’s contract features an opt out after 2016, but you worry about that bridge when you get to it. For now, he’s comfortable with the new league. We’ll see if the rest of the league can adjust to him.