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Indians sign Scott Kazmir to a minor league contract

Indians sign Scott Kazmir to a minor league contract
December 21, 2012
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According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Indians have reached an agreement with free agent left-handed pitcher Scott Kazmir on a minor league contract with an invite to Major League spring training.

Kazmir, 28, did not pitch for a Major League organization last season and in 2011 was limited to just six total appearances between the Angels and their Triple-A Salt Lake affiliate. He pitched in independent ball this past season for Sugar Land in the Atlantic League and in 14 starts went 3-6 with a 5.34 ERA (64.0 IP, 74 H, 8 HR, 33 B, 51 K). He has been pitching winter ball this offseason in the Puerto Rico Winter League and in five starts is 0-2 with a 4.37 ERA (22.2 IP, 28 H, 1 HR, 8 BB, 27 K).

Kazmir has battled some consistency and health issues the past few years which is why he did not sign with a Major League team last year. He is reportedly throwing 90-94 MPH in the Puerto Rico Winter League and has looked much better, and several teams have been intrigued by his showing and had interest in signing him.

This is a depth signing for the Indians and gives them another option to throw into the mix for the starting rotation this spring, and will probably serve more as depth in the minor leagues this coming season until a need arises and he can prove he is healthy. His signing should not interfere with any pursuits the Indians have to sign a starting pitcher to a guaranteed deal to fill a spot in their rotation. They are expected to continue to search for such an option on the free agent and trade front.

With the recent loss of Rafael Perez and Tony Sipp, the Indians also lack a veteran left-hander in the bullpen, and it is a role that Kazmir could fit into with the club initially as well. The Indians have internal options such as Scott Barnes, Nick Hagadone and David Huff to fill a left-handed role in their bullpen, but neither is experienced or reliable enough for a primary left-handed setup role coming out of spring training. Given Kazmir's injury history, he is not necessarily reliable himself, but he helps add another option to the mix.

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User Comments

Sean
December 23, 2012 - 6:46 PM EST
Johan Santana, Uggla, Hamilton, Roberto Clemente; all Rule 5 picks. Benoit, Arredondo, Gomes; all minor league signings turned solid contributors. The odds aren't great, but there is always potential & minimal risk in it. Why the hate?
Joe
December 22, 2012 - 6:00 PM EST
I still think Ross and Jurjians was the way to go a while back. Just sayin'....
Let's wait till the off season plays out, then we can draw our conclusions. At this point, all we can do is make stupid comments because we could do a better job than Antonetti and Shapiro in our minds.
Shy
December 22, 2012 - 5:01 PM EST
Kazmir in in SugarLand TX., That's the Indy league freak show that signed Roger Clemens last year when they were having attendance problems and were rumored to be cabable of beating the Astros. Course the Astros get tested, the Indy ballers don't. They filled the stands at 7 bucks a ticket, kids under 3 free, women with halter tops free, hot dogs 2fer a buck. Kazmir is an 88MPH lefty who goes to 94 on steroids and cheap bourbon, I would say definitely a good signing if Antonetti is planning a similar freak show in Cleveland. Hey, I here there is an old beat up but still willing donkey available in Tijuana. Send a scout Chris!
Joe Chengery
December 22, 2012 - 4:10 PM EST
Just wondering, would the Indians have interest in Kubel again? Reports from Buster Olney is that, after Arizona signed Ross, they are interested in trading an OFer. Olney seems to think Kubel, NOT Upton, is likeliest to be dealt.

Still get that feeling Swisher is not coming here; why I would have went after Ross initially. If Swisher doesn't come here, we will have lost on Ross directly, and potentially, Jackson indirectly, because of all of the time we put on Swisher. Don't know how much Arizona would want for Kubel, but probably would be an option, maybe a better one than Soriano, depending upon the price.
Tony
December 22, 2012 - 9:08 AM EST
Ha, thanks everyone. Many of you probably missed the 4-5 comments that were deleted last night.:) As you can see, I left several of them, even one calling me out....but there were several others that went way over the line and were just nonsense and trolling.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and everything else inbetween to you all as well.
Joe
December 22, 2012 - 8:47 AM EST
'Tis the season to be jolly !!!
Wow !! These types of moves are commonplace throughout all sports, Signings to fill minor league teams, options in case of injuries etc., and, hopefully, a player or two that will contribute at the major league level. The information provided here gives us background, stats, and opinions on these signings. Isn't that what we want, so we can throw out thoughts and ideas among all of us ?
Commenting on all of this is the fun of it, but running the people that provide this info and offer their opinions is wrong.
We all want to see deals and signings that help the Indians, and we want to see them now. But that will not happen. So be patient. There is still a lot of time.
Tony, you and your team provide all of this information, and more, so keep up the great work.
And may all of you at IPI have a Merry Christmas (politically incorrect here in Canada) and a healthy New Year so we can enjoy more of this going forward.
dick
December 22, 2012 - 8:28 AM EST
I like the signing. If the Tribe is willing to throw piles of money at children in the DR, then giving Kaz a shot does not seem that much of a risk.

IBI is a wonderful website and deserves its expanding popularity... uh oh, here come the clowns, morons, less-ons, and half wits
Rich
December 22, 2012 - 8:25 AM EST
Remember, the Tribe has had success with these kind of signings before (Pavano and Millwood). If Kazmir can have a solid first half they could flip him for a prospect.

Did I read that line right? 27 K's in 22 innings? With only 8 walks? That doesn't look too bad. I'm not crazy about the 28 hits or the ERA, but he's definitely missing some bats.

Definitely worth a shot, although he's probably this year's Kevin Slowey.
Tony
December 21, 2012 - 11:46 PM EST
Connor, Joey, Rob, et al....I completely agree. On its own this is a terrible move if they do nothing else. But the full context of the offseason is still unknown, so really, until they head to spring training in mid-February it is hard to get overly upset. If they do end up doing nothing else on a significant level - which I highly doubt - then I will be leading the parade with the pitchforks and torches with the rest.

This is a solid minor league signing, one of the better ones they have made in recent years on the minor league side of things. Absolutely no risk here and while he is likely to not be anything, if he is healthy and the command has returned and the velocity is back (he is comfortably at 90-94 this offseason) then they may have more than they got.
Aussie Tribe
December 21, 2012 - 11:46 PM EST
Totally agree with you Conner & wasn't having a go at you. My last post had more meaning before gaighs post was ripped off this site. It was up very briefly after your last post and was directed at that. Back to the article tho, if SK works out even for a month, great, if not, who cares, min$ & not taking innings in AAA from anyone worthy anyway.
Rob
December 21, 2012 - 11:31 PM EST
As long as there are more moves to come, no harm in signing Kazmir. I think people/fans are jaded after the Cunningham, Jose Lopez, Derek Lowe stuff and other moves from years past. Lets face it what this organization/front office has done over the past 5-10 years does not give much faith. Count me as one who does not have much respect for CA and MS when it comes to baseball decisions. Do I think Kazmir will ever see a MLB mound again, no..but I'm hoping other moves make it a moot point anyways.


Joey
December 21, 2012 - 11:25 PM EST
I didnt say it was a bad move, im just saying more upgrades on the starting rotation front would be nice, regardless of what direction the team says they're going. So basically, more signings of any starters minor or major is what id like to see. Kazmir does have potential to be good and i applaud the move, more starting pitching depth. You can never have too many starters right ?
Connor
December 21, 2012 - 11:18 PM EST
Aussie,
People are entitled to their own opinions, I guess respect would be the wrong word, I guess what i meant to say is that I am ok with him expressing his opinion, but attacking Tony's (or anybody's) integrity over an opinion is downright stupid and wrong. I mean it's not a war of who is right and who is wrong, it's just their thoughts on something.
Aussie Tribe
December 21, 2012 - 10:36 PM EST
Not worthy of a response except to say,
Conner, I think your the only person who respects his opinion!

AT.
Connor
December 21, 2012 - 9:50 PM EST
This is a good singing...like Tony is saying if he fails, no harm, no foul, besides...we are so far from competing anyways that even if Kazmir is miserable it didn't hurt.

Geigh... I respect your opinion as much as anybody else...and I believe that you have the right to complain about a signing....but insulting somebody's integrity, on their own site...that they put so much work into...it sickens me...
Tony
December 21, 2012 - 9:40 PM EST
I don't understand the overreaction to the move. If this was all the Indians did this offseason, then I'd be pretty pissed too. But they are genuinely going after some real Major League options....so I will let the chips fall where they may before I go on a tirade about the front office before all the cards are laid out on the table. I still feel, in the end, based on a lot of the stuff I know behind the scenes, that we should all be at least pleased with the offseason and that it is a step in the right direction.

And just to be clear, I am not praising the pickup as some sort of great find. Kazmir is a lottery ticket. If the time comes that he proves to be what he was before they signed him, yeah, I'll say it is no loss then as well. Same goes for any waiver claim or minor trade. I think that is what is missed at times as simply talking about minor moves and rationalizing them and providing insight into how they might fit into things is not the same as praising them. I mean, as an example, I never really praised the Canzler pickup last year, but I rationalized it. And while people were pining for him in May and June I simply said he was not a legit ML option then as well. No one is saying these guys are great when they are picked up or awful when they are DFAed. They are minor moves, and in the end all of them have limited ML futures.
Steve
December 21, 2012 - 9:26 PM EST
For people that are ridiculing this move, remember that Kazmir is only 28. 28 YEARS OLD!?!?!? How is a former power lefty that has struck out over 200 batters in a Major League season not worth a minor league deal at that age?
Joey
December 21, 2012 - 9:22 PM EST
I know that most teams do this, but it seems like either other teams do this to supplant larger moves or add to multiple moves. The Bauer trade was great, but I'd still like to see more major moves completed. Especially with the rotation, so far only Bauer and Kazmir have been added from outside the rotation. The starting pitching crop is dwindling, and I personally don't want to see them trading for Capuano (35 in May) and Harang (35 in August) as additions. That would be regressing to the old Indians in my opinion.
Aussie Tribe
December 21, 2012 - 9:20 PM EST
Geigh,
Think ur on the wrong site. Ur after the plain dealer where your posts will be most well received by other uninformed, clueless so called fans! Minor lge deal. EVERY team make at least 5 every off season. Tribe has made less then normal ( so far )

AT.
I'm not done being not Geigh
December 21, 2012 - 8:59 PM EST
Typical Tony. After every move the Indians made, Tony is all like, "Good move", "I love this trade". The second the Indians DFA one of the chitty, failed prospects Tony hyped up 2 years earlier, Tony tweets like, "He wasn't good anyway".

Typical Tony. Praise everything the Indians do, and then bash the players the Indians let go or trade. I mean, nigga please.
Steve
December 21, 2012 - 8:46 PM EST
Also, Tony, it's crazy people get mad over this minor league signing, which is a completely a low risk, potential high-reward move. Mind boggling. Unlike signing a Felix Pie, Aaron Cunningham, Chris Seddon, etc., Kazmir actually HAS HAD SUCCESS in the MLB.
Roger
December 21, 2012 - 8:38 PM EST
tony no one has signed raffy yet have they? i tend to think that the indians are whistling in the grave yard to get nick swisher if someone really wants him. Seattle is a bigger battle due to his wife being actress and the proximity of vancouver and all the filming that is done in british columbia. I suspect that she has more say than people think U R GEIGH owes an apology to the entire ISI if he bothered to do research he would know that swisher is married to a movie star but that might take an effort on his behalf. and his language shows his effort as well. did his mom teach him to talk that way
Tony
December 21, 2012 - 8:38 PM EST
Good signing. Low profile, low risk and some potential upside. If it doesn't work out, then no harm no foul. We will see a few more of these deals as the offseason progresses. As for the griping on the Indians always doing this, the Mariners also just signed Jeremy Bonderman tonight to a minor league deal. The Jays and Twins as of this weekend had signed 8 players to minor league deals, the Giants and Rangers had signed 6 to minor league deals. And still counting. Every team makes these signings. I don't understand why so many people get upset about them.

They are simply depth moves and lottery tickets potentially and the front office or ownership do not parade them as big signings with press conferences and major press releases, as they shouldn't. I understand there is a disgruntled section of the fanbase because of a lack of offseason activity in recent years, but you still have to be objective and not let your vitriol cloud your judgment.

Bottom line, this is but a blip on the radar signing. Affects nothing. They are still seeking out the same roster needs and looking for legit options to fill them.
Cam is Geigh
December 21, 2012 - 8:24 PM EST
Cam, LOL. WHAT TEAM THAT EVER MADE THE PLAYOFFS SAID BEFORE THE SEASON, "WE DID A GREAT JOB IN THE RULE V DRAFT".

ROFL. PUH-LEASE, SON!
camfrommaine63
December 21, 2012 - 8:22 PM EST
Mark Reynolds was a a nice pick up. and loved the trade. we did great in rule 5 but will know for sure soon. fair weather fans. make me sick. Camfrommaine41
U R GEIGH
December 21, 2012 - 7:59 PM EST
I'm also so sick of Indians fans congratulating themselves on worthless signings like this. Kazmir is terrible. It's embarrassing.

Real MLB teams have more plans than just signing a bunch of washed up, out of favor players to minor league deals and hoping one or two work out so they can get a +1 WAR guy on the cheap. Who gives a f*ck. I like the Choo trade, but this is all Chris Antonetti does is sign these chitty players to minor league deals. No wonder nobody goes to games b/c there are no good players to watch.

You geigh Indians fans will say, "They are trying to sign free agents...cut them some slack!" They aren't getting the job done. They try to sign Nick Swisher by appealing to his college days at Ohio State. Swisher gives a f*ck about OSU; all he cares about are night clubs, hot chicks, drinking, hot chicks, strip clubs and hot chicks. Antonetti is too big of a dueche bag to realize that.

Oh but nevermind. All is good now b/c the Indians signed Scott Kazmir. Who's the next big signing? Joe Martinez? Wait n/m, that chit just happened. All the Indians will get is a big, fat drunk Jim Thome this offseason from free agency.

Don't be mad, I'm just being real.
Rudolph
December 21, 2012 - 7:58 PM EST
It's always good to see the Indians' fans sights set firmly in reality...
Rob
December 21, 2012 - 7:54 PM EST
Anytime you can get a guy who got lit up in independent league ball last year, gotta pull the trigger. But seriously a buddy of mine saw him several times last year at Sugar Land and said its sad how bad his stuff has gotten. Maybe he got a little hgh cocktail down in Puerto Rico to get one more MLB shot.
Definitely Not Geigh
December 21, 2012 - 7:51 PM EST
Real teams sign major league pitchers. The Indians sign chitty, washed up pitchers and hope they strike gold.

I'm not blasting the front office b/c they try, but the only free agents that are willing to sign with the Indians are reclamation projects or guys coming off a bad year that are only willing to sign a 1 year deal to play in Cleveland so they can showcase themselves for some other team.

The Indians are the most minor league team in MLB.
Not Geigh
December 21, 2012 - 7:47 PM EST
If he actually looked that good he would have received a major league offer by someone.

"Reportedly throwing 90-94mph". WTF is that supposed to mean? Is he actually throwing that comfortably each FB he throws, or is that where he's been topping out?
Jack
December 21, 2012 - 7:17 PM EST
Good signing. I would guess it's even possible he could be our loogy.
Jim
December 21, 2012 - 7:10 PM EST
At the very least Tony...it's a minor league option...or...

a competition option...

Kazmir is a vet, and if healthy...could be pretty good. It ups the ante for the bottom of the rotation. I wonder if there's a "May-Clause" in there...

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