While Drellich notes that there’s a “comfortable fit” between the sides, Houston is hardly the only club showing interest. Per the report, eight to ten teams have “continued interest” in the veteran.
Much as John Lackey and Hisashi Iwakuma drew strong early interest in part because they were available on shorter-term deals, there’s reason to believe that Kazmir could be had for a lighter commitment than his recent production might otherwise suggest.
True, there’s plenty to like about Kazmir’s output over the past two seasons. All told, he’s thrown 373 1/3 innings of 3.33 ERA ball with 7.7 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9. And he’s maintained his average fastball velocity at about 91.5 mph.
But long-term questions remain about Kazmir’s elbow, and then there’s the fact that he struggled to a 6.52 ERA over the months of September and October. More notable, perhaps, are the declining metrics he put up last year: a 3.98 FIP, 4.14 xFIP, and 4.10 SIERA. And Kazmir is about to turn 32.
All told, a robust market isn’t surprising. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes predicted that Kazmir could land four years and $52MM, which may not be quite the bargain rate that suitors will hope to achieve. As Dierkes notes, the lack of draft compensation is another notable element that supports Kazmir’s market.