Thursday, July 23, 2015

Astros trade for Kazmir, form The Brothers K




So the Astros have acquired A's LHP Scott Kazmir in exchange for Jacob Nottingham and Daniel Mengden, two hours before Kazmir was scheduled to start against the Blue Jays. I'm guessing he goes on Friday against Kansas City, now, pushing everybody else back a day.

Kazmir, 31, graduated from Cy Falls, and was the Mets' 1st Round pick in 2002. He's been around and dealt with injuries - pitching 1.2IP in 2011 and missing all of 2012. In the last two years with Oakland, he's thrown exactly 300IP, allowing 255H/104ER, 265K:85BB - a 3.26 ERA/1.13 WHIP.  He has been worth 2.2 WAR (FanGraphs version), benefiting from a .262 BABIP and a career-low 0.57 HR/9inn.

Jacob Nottingham was the Astros' 6th Round pick in the 2013 draft. He's 20 years old, and big for a catcher (6'3" 227), and was absolutely dominating this season, posting a .931 OPS at Quad Cities and a .974 OPS at Lancaster. I liked him a lot and so, naturally, I hate this trade.

Daniel Mengden was the Astros' 4th Round pick in the 2014 draft, a Westside High/A&M grad. He's 22 and was killing Quad Cities (1.16 ERA/0.98 WHIP), but has taken some time to adjust to the Cal League (5.26 ERA/1.55 WHIP).

Are the Astros "going for it?" I mean, the rotation is better now. There is now one man out in the rotation: Keuchel, Kazmir (The Brothers K - I'm trademarking that) lead the way, with three spots for McCullers, McHugh, Feldman, and Velasquez. This move gives the Astros more options - no word on the possibility of going to a six-man rotation - on keeping McCullers/Velasquez's innings down.

Keep in mind that Kazmir is owed the remainder of a $13m salary this season (part of a backloaded 2yr/$20m deal with the A's), but he's a free agent in the offseason. Given that he's from Houston, it may be easier to re-sign him (should the Astros want to do so), but that's the gamble with rental pitchers.

I like the trade. I'll miss the promise of the 6'3" 227lb catcher with the .941 OPS, mainly because I talked just last night about how excited I was about his development. But Kazmir slots in right behind Keuchel, gives the Astros another lefty option, and bolsters the rotation over the next 66 games. Both teams got something they wanted.

Kazmir, for his part, is excited:





Angels manager Mike Scioscia doesn't see a big difference:

11 comments:

Lucas Levin said...

Great trade

JoeinAlaska said...

This looks pretty good at first glance.

Chaz R said...

SWEET!!

Anonymous said...

I think its an awesome trade! Go 'stros!

Anonymous said...

If we go after a bat and bullpen arm who do you think they will be?

Michael Carder said...

Not a huge fan of this trade. Sorry to spoil the fun everyone. Love Kazmir and glad to see the organization get behind this team. But I was much bigger fan of the Sheriff and Mengden. Huge upside that we now have to watch from afar :-(

Anonymous said...

Mengden is well behind other pitching prospects in the organization...Devenski, Rodgers, Musgrove, Feliz, Hader, Bostick, Martes...Eschelman...etc. Would he ever have seen MMP?

Anonymous said...

Kazmir is 85% of Price or Cueto if you account for his ability to own AL West teams. Obtaining either of the latter would cost at least 3 top 10 prospects, which is just too expensive. And we have a huge chance of signing Kazmir after the season, as he is a lifelong Astros fan from Houston. Cueto and Kazmir, not so much. Hate to see Nottingham go obviously, but overall it seems to be a good trade.

Anonymous said...

Solid move!

Hopefully they'll kick Feldman to the curb!

Anonymous said...

Trading prospects is always hard, but when you have a chance to acquire major league talent for a playoff push in exchange for two players three levels away from the big leagues, you have to do it. I love Mengden -- I guarantee you more so than anyone else here -- but he is a back-end starter or bullpen arm still three to four years from making a real impact. As for Nottingham, he hit .247 and .230 in his first two seasons of Rookie ball before breaking out this year. I, and many scouts, don't think he sticks at catcher which would significantly drop his value. Even if he does stick at catcher, it will be as a below-average defender. He is easily three years away from making an impact in the majors as a catcher.

All that being said, both of these guys could continue their great seasons and have successful big league careers. But let's not pretend we just traded away Matt Harvey and Buster Posey.

Masked Marvel said...

Excellent work, Constable. Timely and detailed. I like the trade.