Sports Outside the Beltway

Tampa Bay Rays trade P Scott Kazmir to the Angels

I thought teams with Pennant hopes made deals to acquire more pitching, not trade it away. From AP-

The Los Angeles Angels, looking to bolster their rotation for the last five weeks of the season and in October, acquired left-hander Scott Kazmir of the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.

“This is a surprise. I had heard rumors before, but it’s hard to believe that it is now official,” Kazmir said after Tampa Bay’s 6-2 loss to Detroit. “It’s a disappointment because of all the relationships I’ve built in the organization and the city, but you can’t control the business side of the game.”

The Angels and Rays had extensive conversations before the trade deadline about Kazmir, who is 8-7 with a 5.92 ERA.

Tampa Bay receives two minor leaguers — left-hander Alex Torres and infielder Matt Sweeney — and a player to be named later in the deal.

“We’re very excited about the player that we can’t name yet, but also about the other two,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “The lefty has a great arm, and Sweeney is one of the best hitters in the minors.”

Kazmir leaves Tampa as the franchise all-time leader in wins, strikeouts, and several other pitching categories. Tampa has a record of 69-58 and are still in the playoff hunt for a wild card spot. So why trade Kazmir.

John Romano of the St. Petersburg Times fills us in-

The Rays just got better in 2010. And 2011, for that matter.

And all it may have cost them was a chance for the playoffs in 2009.

That’s pretty much what this Scott Kazmir trade means. By getting out from under Kazmir’s overpriced contract, the Rays will have a better chance to keep the core of their team together in the next couple of seasons, and that, absolutely, is a good thing.

But there’s no way to spin this trade to make you believe the Rays have a better shot at defending their American League pennant today. Not by taking their No. 3 starter out of the rotation. And not by sending him to the team the Rays would most likely face in the first round of the playoffs if they somehow beat the odds and win the AL wild card.

For now, this trade stinks. There’s no other way to paint it. You could say the Rays have Andy Sonnanstine and Wade Davis in Triple A, and so the rotation is not without options. But if those guys were better than Kazmir, they would have already been with the team.

Whatever carpe diem means, this is the opposite.

Other than for financial reasons, the trade makes no sense. I bet there are a lot of irate baseball fans in Tampa right now.

Related Stories:
Recent Stories:

Comments are Closed


Visitors Since Feb. 4, 2003

All original content copyright 2003-2008 by OTB Media. All rights reserved.