The Indians are interested in bringing Scott Kazmir back, but are reportedly looking to retain him on another 1-year deal (for something less than the $14.1 million qualifying offer they declined to extend him), while Kazmir is seeking a multiyear contract.
If the Indians are unwilling to budge on that, Kazmir is gone, because even with the troubles he had prior to 2013, he's sure to draw plenty of interest from numerous team, as arguably the best left-handed starting pitcher on the market this winter.
Kazmir posted a 4.04 ERA during 158 innings in 2013.
That's roughly league-average production, which made the minor league deal the team inked Kazmir to last December an absolute bargain.
Kazmir's peripherals, such as his strikeout and walk rates were even better than average, he struck out 9.23 per 9 innings (his best since 2008) while walking a career-low 2.68.
Those figures, along with his strong second half (his K/9 and K/BB were each top 3 in the AL and his fWAR was among the top 10), make him a solid candidate for even better production in 2014 than his overall 2013 numbers.
I understand why the Indians would prefer to sign him to another 1-year deal, but if they really are unwilling to go for at least a second year, they're being far too risk adverse for a team that ought to be looking to build off its first playoff appearance in six years.
More from Let's Go Tribe:
- Cleveland Indians 2013 in Review: Ryan Raburn turns his career around
- Free agent starting pitchers: The best of the best (including Ubaldo)
- Free agent starting pitchers countdown: #6-10 (including the top lefties)
- Free agent starting pitchers countdown: #11-15
- Free agent starting pitchers countdown: #16-20