The Dodgers have finally grabbed up another pitcher – another lefty – by signing Scott Kazmir to a three-year deal. Kazmir joins fellow lefties Clayton Kershaw, Brett Anderson, Alex Wood, and Hyun-Jin Ryu in the rotation (together with righty Brandon McCarthy if and when he’s healthy).
Interestingly, Kazmir’s three-year deal, which is reportedly worth $48 million, comes with an opt-out after the first year (Jon Heyman). So, it’s basically a one-year deal with a two-year player option. What exciting times we live in to see this kind of structure in a three-year deal.
Furthermore, the money rich Dodgers are structuring the deal in a very interesting way:
#Dodgers deferring Kazmir 3-$48M over 6 yrs so getting $8M annually in that period including $5M sign bonus and $3M salary this year
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 30, 2015
How this impacts the Dodgers’ plans to go after Kenta Maeda or a younger starter in trade remains to be seen. With the injuries to McCarthy and Ryu, and Kazmir’s past arm issues, depth is necessary, but I do wonder if the Dodgers would now consider moving a guy like Alex Wood (if they go after Maeda, for example).
Assuming there are no other changes, the Dodgers should have a very solid rotation to pair with a decent bullpen and a very good set of positional players. That is to say, the Dodgers figure to be very good again in 2016.
The Pirates and Cardinals were among the teams previously mentioned in connection to Kazmir, but this was almost certainly out of the former’s price range (and was probably never a serious consideration for the latter after they signed Mike Leake). The fact that Kazmir was not tied to draft pick compensation probably pushed his price tag up further.