A’s Trade Scott Kazmir to the Astros

By Vincent Frank

Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane isn’t afraid to make some bold moves. In some cases, these moves have included sending a star player to a division rival.

That’s exactly what happened on Thursday.

Seemingly out of contention in the American League West, the A’s have traded starting pitcher Scott Kazmir to the Houston Astros for two minor league prospects.

Kazmir, 31, has heard his name mentioned on the rumor mill for some time now. He’s set to become a free agent following the season, which is likely one of the reasons Oakland sought out trade possibilities. It also had to play into Houston’s thinking here. Since the start of last season, Kazmir has posted a 20-14 record with a 3.00 ERA. He’s been one of the most consistently good pitchers in the division during that span.

At 53-43 on the season, Houston is just two games behind the Los Angeles Angels in the division. However, the team needed to add another top of the rotation arm in order to seriously compete with the Angels moving forward. With Dallas Keuchel and Kazmir now heading the rotation, A.J. Hinch’s squad should be in good shape.

As it relates to what the A’s get in return, it appears to be a much smaller package than most people anticipated. According to MLB.com, pitcher Daniel Mengden was the team’s 19th-best prospect. The 22-year-old right-handed pitcher has posted a 6-2 record with a 3.44 ERA in just over a year of experience in the minors. Meanwhile, catcher Jacob Nottingham was the franchise’s 22nd-best prospect. A sixth-round pick back in 2013, Nottingham was hitting .326 with 14 homers and 60 RBI’s in Single-A ball prior to the trade.

Photo: USA Today Sports