"It appears the Angels will have no choice but to release" lefty Scott Kazmir, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. That would mean eating about $7MM in remaining salary, plus a $2.5MM buyout for 2012.
GM Tony Reagins was on hand to watch Kazmir's fifth rehab start, writes DiGiovanna, and it was the lefty's fourth ugly outing. Kazmir's recovery from back stiffness has been drawn out, as he attempts to regain his old form within the 30-day rehab window. Last year, Kazmir's 5.94 ERA was the worst in the American League among those with 150 innings. Kazmir led the American League in strikeouts in 2007 as a 23-year-old, but his work has gone downhill since.
Kazmir is still only 27, so don't count him out of baseball quite yet. Perhaps another fresh start will lead to him becoming a serviceable starter in time.
As for the August trade with the Rays, the Angels sent Sean Rodriguez, Alex Torres, and Matt Sweeney to Tampa Bay. Torres could be the gem of the deal, as he was ranked sixth among Rays prospects by Baseball America prior to the season.