KC Royals: Signing Scott Kazmir Would Be Shrewd Move; Madson Gone


The KC Royals are interested in signing former Astros lefty starter Scott Kazmir, who started against KC in Game 2 the 2015 American League Division Series, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. Meanwhile, Ryan Madson signed a three-year, $22 million deal with Oakland.

I would love to see the Kansas City Royals add the soon-to-be 32-year-old Scott Kazmir to their rotation. Not only would Kazmir give the team another lefty in the rotation besides Danny Duffy, Kazmir would be an outstanding fit in Kansas City.

Scott Kazmir is a fly ball pitcher who excelled the first half of the season in Oakland (who has a spacious home park) but struggled in Houston’s bandbox at Minute Maid Park.

Scott Kazmir’s numbers were an outstanding 5-5 with a 2.38 ERA in 109.1 innings pitched with Oakland, and a much less impressive 2-6, with a 4.17 ERA in 73.1 innings pitched with Houston after a deadline trade. Poor performance at Minute Maid Park fueled Kazmir’s second half collapse, where Kazmir got rocked for a 4.66 ERA in 36.1 innings. Still, Kazmir’s 7-11, 3.10 ERA with a 3.98 FIP in 31 starts is more than acceptable for a no. 2  or 3 starter.

Much of Kazmir’s second half problems was playing him in a park that doesn’t suit a fly ball pitcher. He would not have that problem with the Kansas City Royals. The KC Royals also are very familiar with Kazmir after he played with division-rival Cleveland in his 2013 comeback season.

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The fly in this ointment, however, is that Scott Kazmir has struggled at Kauffman Stadium: he’s 2-4, with a 4.52 ERA in 12 career starts in Kansas City. While you might be tempted to dismiss these results as small sample size, given that fly ball pitchers should succeed in Kansas City, how can you then attribute his second half struggles to a poor fit in Minute Maid Park after making only seven starts in Houston last season?

Overall, Kazmir has been a solid no. 2 starter since his 2013 comeback. If Kansas City can get him on a three-year contract, I’d love to see general manager Dayton Moore pull the trigger.

In other Sunday news, former KC Royals setup man Ryan Madson landed a three-year, $22 million deal from the Oakland A’s. The 35-year-old Madson flashed 95 mph velocity while compiling an outstanding 2.13 ERA for the Royals.

The $7.33 million per year average suggests that teams are now happy to pay non-closer relief pitchers substantial money in free-agency. Perhaps we can call this the “Kansas City Royals Effect”, because the Royals have shown the entire baseball world what a dominant pen can do by winning two straight American League pennants.

Certainly, I’d prefer a three-year, $27 million deal that has been mentioned in connection with 32-year-old former KC Royals closer Joakim Soria over Oakland’s contract with Madson. While Soria has recovered from two, rather than one elbow reconstruction, he is also three years removed from his second surgery.

Next: KC Royals Could Be Fit For Marcell Ozuna

I think you can count on him holding up more than you can with Madson.