The Dodgers officially agreed yesterday to a three-year, $48MM deal — which also includes an opt-out after the 2016 campaign — with free agent southpaw Scott Kazmir. Here are some reactions to the deal from around the game:
- Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi addressed the signing yesterday, as Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Giving in to an opt-out clause after just one season fit the team’s situation in several ways, he suggested. For one, there are several quality pitching prospects that could be ready to step in for 2017. And if Kazmir triggers the clause, then L.A. will be able to recoup a draft pick by making a qualifying offer. “In Scott’s case, he and his representation are aware that next year’s free-agent starting pitching market will probably be a pretty good seller’s market,” said Zaidi. “From our standpoint, we have a lot of good young pitching that we feel is going to be ready to contribute at some point in 2016 and certainly by 2017.”
- The move to add Kazmir wouldn’t necessarily preclude other rotation additions, said Zaidi. Indeed, the club has since reportedly reached agreement with Japanese righty Kenta Maeda. “There are some guys coming back from injury,” Zaidi said. “To the extent that adding more certainty to the rotation is an option for us over the next couple of months, we’ll definitely continue to look.”
- The Astros had interest in Kazmir “all along,” Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle tweets. But the team simply wasn’t willing to reach the salary level that the Dodgers offered the lefty. As Drellich explains in a post on the signing, Houston could stand to add a rotation arm after losing Kazmir and giving up some depth via trade. Whether or not that might come via free agency remains to be seen, as Drellich notes that it’s possible to imagine the organization dealing for an arm and then signing a position player off of the open market to compensate for whatever trade chips are utilized.
- Missing on Kazmir hurts the Orioles, who look in need of some upgrading in the rotation. But while noting his value, Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com also questions the wisdom of including an opt-out clause one year into a three-year pact.
- MLB.com’s Mike Petriello likes the signing for the Dodgers, noting that Kazmir’s recent durability has flipped the script on the idea that he’s an injury risk. Petriello explains that the lefty has varied his arsenal and proved effective over a long enough stretch to warrant this kind of payday. But, he argues, it’s also a nice value for the team given the price of other pitchers this winter.
- MLB Network Radio’s Jim Duquette argues (audio link) that the Dodgers can find value late in the free agent market after inking Kazmir. (Of course, the club has already gone on to reportedly strike a deal with Maeda.) He suggests that bringing back Howie Kendrick would make a good deal of sense — presumably, by deepening the infield and bumping Kike Hernandez to an outfield role — though Zaidi downplayed that possibility.