This offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates will look to add at least two starting pitchers. And left-hander Scott Kazmir could be a potential trade target.
Last offseason left-handed pitcher Scott Kazmir signed a three-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. This contract was worth a total of 43 million dollars, and it has 32 million dollars remaining on it. However, the Dodgers may now be looking to move Kazmir.
Prior to signing with the Dodgers Kazmir’s agent had a lot of talks with the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was even reported that the Pirates offered Kazmir a contract, but the deal the Pirates offered was for just two years instead of the three he got from Los Angeles. Due to this, it is obvious that Kazmir is a pitcher that Neal Huntington and the Pirates have interest in.
2016 was not the best of seasons for Kazmir. Due to a back issue Kazmir made just 26 starts and pitched just 136 1/3 innings in 2016. In those 136 1/3 innings pitched Kazmir averaged 8.85 K/9, 3.43 BB/9, he allowed 21 home runs (1.39 HR/9), and he had a 1.36 WHIP. Some of that is good, some of it is bad, and some of it is horrible. It all led to him owning a 4.48 FIP, 4.19 xFIP, and a 1.3 WAR.
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The biggest issue with Kazmir in 2016 was walking too many batters and allowing too many home runs. His control issues could be in part due to the back issues he was experiences, so getting healthy should help there. And pitching at PNC Park would, most likely, help with the home run issue.
Scott Kazmir’s hard contact rates in 2016 also indicate that he will bounce back in 2017. He had a 25.2 percent hard contact rate, which is tied for the lowest hard contact rate he has ever allowed in his career.
The Dodgers currently find themselves with a surplus of pitchers moving forward. Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Ross Stripling, Julio Urias, and Alex Wood are all starting pitchers under contract for next season. So it would make sense for the Dodgers to try and move at least one of their pitchers.
With Chase Utley and Justin Turner being free agents, the Dodgers find themselves with holes to fill at both second and third base. All of a sudden the Pirates find themselves with a surplus at these positions. David Freese, Josh Harrison, Alen Hanson, and Adam Frazier could all be potential trade fits with the Dodgers. And trading away at least one of these players would be behooving of the Pirates.
The most logical trade would be to move Freese or Harrison in a potential Kazmir deal. This is due to both of these players having more money tied into them for next season, so it could be a potential salary swap. Also, with the way Jung Ho Kang has returned from his leg injury without missing a beat the need to keep David Freese around is gone.
For a lot of reasons, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers make sense as trade partners this offseason. Due to this, I would like to see the Pirates make a run at trading for Scott Kazmir. I believe Kazmir would be a great fit in the Pirates’ rotation.