So free agent left-hander Scott Kazmir got an opt-out clause. I really don’t understand the Los Angeles Dodgers’ thinking here.
Kazmir signed a three-year deal with the Dodgers that will reportedly guarantee him $48 million. But he has an opt-out clause after the first season. If he pitches poorly, the Dodgers are on the hook for all three years and $48 million. If he pitches well in 2016, he can leave the team and re-enter the free agent market at the end of the year.
Must be a great time to be a starting pitcher. Not bad for a player whose career looked to be derailed by injuries just a few years ago.
Some readers here have expressed they didn’t feel Kazmir would have been much of an upgrade for the Orioles rotation had they gotten him. But over the last two years, Kazmir went 22-20 with an ERA of 3.33 in 373 innings. Wei-Yin Chen went 27-14 with an ERA of 3.44 in 377 innings.
Kazmir allowed an average against of .238 in that time with a OPS against of .663 and 36 homers. Chen allowed an average of .264, OPS against of .743 and 51 homers.
With Kazmir off the board, where do the Orioles turn now for starting pitching? A rotation that ranked 14th in the American League last year could use some help.
Kazmir was certainly not an ace. But he could have helped the Orioles. The Kansas City Royals won the World Series with a mediocre rotation that had an ace in Johnny Cueto for half a season, even though he didn’t pitch at all like one.
But in signing Kazmir, did the Dodgers make a mistake in providing an opt-out clause after one year? Are teams starting to give these clauses out like candy at Halloween?
* Pedro Alvarez has been mentioned as a potential Orioles acquisition and not many fans seem too high on that possible addition. That is understandable in that Alvarez is a poor fielder and strikes out a lot.
But as a designated hitter and final piece - or one of the final pieces to the puzzle - I could clearly see value here. That is on a one-year deal.
Over the last four years, Chris Davis has hit 159 homers to lead the majors. But Alvarez is 11th on that list with 111 homers since 2012. He hit 36 in 2013. He might enjoy taking aim at Eutaw Street. He could provide a lefty bat and some lineup protection. If you are looking to replace 47 homers with the potential loss of Davis, a combo of Mark Trumbo at first and Alvarez at DH could do that. Alvarez could be a good pickup on a one-and-done type of deal.