Scott Kazmir: No Thanks

It has been suggested that the New York Mets go after Scott Kazmir now that he has been released by the Los Angeles Angels.

But why?

So the Mets can correct one of the worst deals they have made in recent history? Because he is now available for cheap?

Neither of these reasons makes sense.

The Kazmir deal was a dark day in Mets history. Trading a top prospect for two players who contribute nothing is always looked down upon, even more so when the prospect puts up fantastic numbers.

However, Kazmir is no longer that pitcher. Had Kazmir had one down season, then picking him up would make more sense. But Kazmir has been just plain bad since 2009.

Since 2009, Kazmir has made 55 starts. He has a 19-24 record and a 5.54 ERA over that time frame. To make matters worse, he has a 1.52 WHIP. These are numbers are eye-popping, and not for a good reason.

Kazmir has seen his strikeout rate drop significantly in the past few years. In 2008, Kazmir posted a 9.8 K/9 rate. Then, in 2010, that number dropped to 5.6 K/9. He saw his walk rate increase from 3.7 BB/9 in 2008 to 4.7 BB/9 in 2010.

He was sent to the minors after a back injury this year to try to rehab and return to the majors. Kazmir failed miserably at Triple-A. He made five starts and his numbers were ugly. Looking past the 0-5 record, Kazmir put up a 17.02 ERA and 2.74 WHIP. Worst of all, Kazmir had a 11.7 BB/9 rate.

Another reason that has been suggested that the Mets go out and get Kazmir is because he is cheap and could be a low-risk/high-reward type player.

While he may be cheap, there are some issues with Kazmir. His fastball velocity has been dropping every since his rookie year. It is understandable that it fell from an average of 93.7 mph his first season to around 92 mph until 2008. But then, he began to lose velocity. His fastball was coming in at an average of 90.5 mph in 2010 and it was ineffective.

Taking a look at Fangraphs shows that Kazmir was actually worth -$3 million to the Angels last year. Kazmir has quickly fallen from being an elite pitcher to an average pitcher to a reclamation project.

The Mets were convinced that they could sort out Oliver Perez’s problems, but they couldn’t. What is to think that all of a sudden, they will be able to short out Kazmir’s issues.

Kazmir may be cheap, but that is because of how poorly he has performed. With the Mets closing in on the wild card race, they do not need another headache.