Scott Kazmir turned in another ugly start at Triple-A last night and Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times writes that “it now appears to be just a matter of time before the Angels release the struggling left-hander and swallow his $14.5-million contract.”
Kazmir coughed up six runs in 3.2 innings last night, walking five batters and plunking three more, giving him a 15.15 ERA and 13/16 K/BB ratio in four starts at Triple-A.
Sam Miller of the Orange County Register examined Kazmir’s mechanics via some video of his poor Triple-A outings and found that he’s “in completely different positions in each pitch” and his delivery is such a mess that “he finishes off the pitch almost with his back to the batter.”
It seems hard to believe, but Kazmir led the league in strikeouts in 2007 and had a 3.49 ERA with nearly 10 strikeouts per nine innings as recently as 2008. Since then he has a 5.42 ERA in 54 starts and now he seems incapable of even getting Triple-A hitters out despite still being just 27 years old.
OXON HILL, MD — Edwin Encarnacion began the offseason as, arguably, the second most desirable free agent on the market. As the Winter Meetings approach their end, however, he is a man without a team. And may not have a team any time soon.
Many teams have been rumored to be checking in on Encarnacion, but the defining trait of his free agency thus far has been clubs taking a pass. The most recent one being the Rangers, who are reported to simply not have the money to sign him, despite him filling a clear offensive need in Texas. Maybe the Rangers would be more competitive on the free agent market if they had a new stadium. Who knows?
The Blue Jays, for whom he most recently played, offered him a four-year, $80 million deal that most figured was a lowball, and when he rejected it, they moved on to Kendrys Morales. The Red Sox acquired Mitch Moreland. The Yankees are reported to be passing. The most recent team linked to Encarnacion is the Indians, who are reported to have an offer out to him, but at this point it’s likely far lower than what most free agent watchers thought he might get a few weeks ago. A four-year, $90 million deal did not seem crazy for him in October. In December, there is speculation that he could be had for $60 million over that same term which, frankly, would be a bargain. That’s less than Mark Melancon, the third best closer on the market, got from the Giants.
There have been a lot of remarkable things that have happened in the past few weeks, but one of the most unexpected things would be one of the top bats in the game getting second-tier closer money.
OXON HILL, MD — Bill King has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
King, one of the iconic voices of Bay Area sports, was known for his handlebar mustache and his signature “Holy Toledo!” exclamation. King broadcast A’s games for 25 seasons, from 1981 through 2005. He likewise broadcast Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors games and got his start as an announcer for the Giants in the late 1950s after they moved to San Francisco.
King passed away in October 2005. With the Frick Award, however, he has now been immortalized among baseball broadcasters.