Scott Kazmir: The Prodigal Son Returns?
Happy New Year!
They said his pitching delivery would lead to an injury riddled career. They said that his career would be very short and that he had a low ceiling. They said he had a bad attitude and was un-coachable. They said he was not close to being major league ready. The former Mets regime said all of these things about Scott Kazmir before trading him to the Tampa bay Devil Rays and breaking the hearts of Mets fans everywhere.
It wasn’t so much that they the Mets traded Kazmir, as it was what they got in return… Victor Zambrano. In an ironic twist of fate, all those things the Mets said about Scott Kazmir in defense of trading him… they received ten-fold from Victor Zambrano. It was a trade that would go down in Mets infamy much like the trades of Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver.
Yesterday, the St. Petersburg Times gave some hope to Mets fans who long for the days of seeing Kazmir pitching in a Mets uniform. Here is what they wrote…
Even though he is entering his first year of arbitration eligibility, there’s already talk that Scott Kazmir’s days as a Ray are numbered.
Kazmir is coming off his best season, reaching career highs in wins (13), innings pitched (2062/3) and strikeouts (an AL-high 239). Considering the way the Rays monitored his workload, limiting his pitch counts and innings for most of the second half, it’s clear they consider Kazmir a big part of their future.
In an age in which finding quality starting pitching is hard and keeping it more difficult, the Rays – who don’t comment on contract negotiations – might be wise to go to the bargaining table and work out a long-term deal with Kazmir.
Here’s the glitch. The Rays explored the possibility last year, but nothing developed. And Kazmir, who couldn’t be reached for comment, doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to sign a long-term deal of the likes of Carl Crawford’s or Rocco Baldelli’s.
Okay, get your tongues back in your mouth… You can bet that if the Devil Rays do in fact put Kazmir on the block, the Yankees, Angels, Phillies, Braves and Red Sox will be all ears and ready to give them anything they want for the prized young left hander.
Kazmir, who turns 24 this month, has had a fabulous career thus far and owns a 36-29 record. In 570 innings pitched he has allowed only 533 hits while striking out 617 batters. Before I read the article I had no idea that Kazmir led the league in strike out with 239. Wow!
While just the chance or speculation that Scott Kazmir may be available sounds so exciting to me, that excitement comes with an undertone of fear and anxiety.
If the Mets did not have the resources to pull off a trade for Johan Santana, Erik Bedard or Dan Haren, how can we possibly land the likes of Kazmir should he ever become available? Seeing the former Mets number one draft pick, land on one of the teams that I hate, may become even more painful than the day we traded him in the first place.
Perish the thought…
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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