The winter meetings have begun their final stretch, and it seems the Mariners will be making another significant splash this off-season before the end of the week-long get-together. It looks promising that the Mariners will trade for left-hander, and former foe, Scott Kazmir.
It has been no secret that the Los Angeles Dodgers have been nipping at the bud to re-sign Rich Hill. And they finally achieved that yesterday, signing him to a three-year deal.
Their problem has been: they have too many men penciled in on the forty-man to do anything if the want to keep building the team. So the Dodgers are looking to shop Brandon McCarthy and/or Kazmir to do just that.
Kazmir has been linked to the Mariners for the past couple of days, but it seems that talks are escalating behind hotel room doors.
Dipoto told Bob Dutton of The News Tribune:
"“We’ve had a fair amount of discussion today,” Dipoto said, “both in our (hotel) room — in talking about a couple of different targets — and in talking to a couple of different teams. But nothing, I would say, is imminent.”"
Translate that into non-GM talk, it sounds like, “We’re gonna get something done while we’re here, we are just working out that kinks.”
Kazmir would be a strong addition to the rotation, not just because of his sheer talent, but his winning pedigree and post-season experience can help lift the Mariners over the playoff hump that defeated them the past fifteen years.
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Over his twelve-year career, Kazmir has a record of 108-96, and while that seems fairly balanced let me break it down this way: Kazmir has had a winning record as a starter eight of those twelve campaigns.
He has also pitched in their different post-seasons, including the 2008 World Series, where his former team, the Tampa Rays lost.
Another reason the Mariners should like Kazmir is their familiarity with him. During his time mostly with the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics, and Houston Astros, Kazmir has faced the Mariners sixteen times, earning a record of 5-4 and an ERA of 3.33.
More specifically, in Safeco Field alone, Kazmir is 4-2 with a 2.53 ERA, which his lowest earned run average in any stadium when playing at least five games on those grounds.
At the moment it is unclear who Dipoto would exchange for Kazmir, but so far all of his moves, especially this year, seem to be very smart.
So, let’s see if Dipoto can finalize a deal and bring Kazmir to Seattle. If he can, the Mariners will be in great shape with the rotation with Felix Hernandez at the top followed by Hisashi Iwakuma, probably Kazmir, then James Paxton and Nathan Karns rounding out the five.