Today, the Dodgers signed the southpaw to a 3 year deal worth $48 mil. The contract includes an opt out clause after the first season, which I doubt Kazmir would opt out. Why? Well, Kaz is 31 years old and is at best a low to mid three ERA pitcher that eats up innings. Kazmir is making the right amount of money with this deal. Kazmir would lose money because no other team would pay him more than $50 mil if he were to opt out after his first year with the Dodgers.
Now, Kazmir split last season between the Oakland A’s and Houston Astros. Kazmir had a really good first half that lead to a trade on July 23, 2015 to the Houston Astros, which was nice for Kazmir because he played for the team he grew up watching. Next, Kazmir gave the Astros a decent push to reach the playoffs.
In addition, Kazmir finished the regular season with a 7-11 record and posting a 3.10 ERA in 183 innings. Kazmir had a good season despite a losing record. Also, Kazmir struck out 155 batters and walked 59 batters. The Houston native’s WHIP was higher this year (1.391) than the one he produced in 2014 (1.085). Kazmir produced a ground ball rate of 43%.
In fact, Kazmir will rejoin his former General Manager Andrew Friedman (current President of Baseball Operations) from their Tampa days. Friedman was the man that brought Kazmir to Tampa in a trade with the Mets for veteran pitcher Victor Zambrano.
Finally, Kazmir will join Clayton Kershaw, Brett Anderson, Alex Wood, and Hyun-jin Ryu in the rotation. Ryu is the biggest question due to the fact that he is recovering from shoulder surgery and time will tell if he will be the same pitcher before the injury. Ryu is expected to be ready for spring training. The Dodgers have a rotation with 5 lefties, which is very unusual in the game of baseball. Do not forget that Brandon McCarthy is still a Dodger, but will miss most of the 2016 season due to his rehab process from Tommy John surgery. McCarthy is the only righty in the rotation. Also, the Dodgers could trade Wood for another piece or two and sign the Japanese phenom Kenta Maeda to give the team a righty on the rotation from the get go.
Note: The last rotation to have 4 or more lefties were the Chicago White Sox last season with Chris Sale, John Danks, Carlos Rodon, and Jose Quintana.