MLB news: Scott Kazmir signs with Oakland A's

USA TODAY Sports

Indians unwillingness to guarantee multiple years leads to Kazmir's departure.

Scott Kazmir has agreed to a 2-year deal with the Oakland Athletics, for a reported $22 million.

The Indians were reportedly unwilling to go beyond a 1-year deal for Kazmir, despite him being the team's second-best pitcher during the second half of 2013, when Kazmir had a 3.38 ERA in 13 starts, with 82 strikeouts in 72 innings. Given Kazmir's injuries and lack of production in previous seasons (he was out of MLB entirely in 2012, pitching instead for the Sugar Land Skeeters, an independent league team) I can understand any team having some hesitations about guaranteeing that second season, but it's pretty clear that this is the cost of pitching these days, and any pitcher signing in that price range is going to come with some question marks, whether they're related to health, age, or ineffectiveness.

Some of suggested that the Indians may have seen something on their medical records for Kazmir, giving them greater concern than any other team will have. That may or may not be the case, but i it is, we should expect to hear something about it when Kazmir goes through a physical with Oakland before this agreement becomes official.

In any event, the Indians are probably losing Ubaldo Jimenez too, and they've got a hole in the rotation, with unimpressive in-house replacement options. This is more than I wanted the Indians to have to spend, but it's right in line with what other pitchers have signed for this offseason. If there's not a pitcher of Kazmir's approximate caliber that the front office is willing to spend this kind of money on, we're likely looking at a weak back end of the rotation in 2014.

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