The Oakland Athletics are close to signing free agent left-handed starting pitcher Scott Kazmir to a two-year deal, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The deal is for $22 million, per multiple outlets.
Kazmir, 29, resurrected his career with the Indians last season, going 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 162 strikeouts in 158 innings.
The once-highly-touted prospect was a two-time All-Star for the Rays before he turned 25, but he had a disaster of a season for the Angels in 2010 before completely falling apart in 2011. In 2012, he was left pitching in Independent Ball for the Sugar Land Skeeters.
Kazmir's advanced metrics (3.51 FIP, 3.36 xFIP, .324 BABIP) bode well for an even better 2014 season, especially considering his strikeout rate (9.23 K/9) was the best at the big-league level since 2008. Not only that, but Oakland's O.co Coliseum is one of the best pitchers parks in baseball, so Kazmir is in a real good situation once this signing comes to fruition.
As for the A's, this likely would mean the end of Bartolo Colon in their rotation. In addition to the oft-injured Brett Anderson -- who is trade bait at this point -- the A's already have Sonny Gray, Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, Dan Straily and A.J. Griffin as rotation options. Earlier Monday, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that the A's were "not optimistic" on their chances of re-signing the free agent Colon. So it would appear the Kazmir signing is confirmation.