The Los Angeles Dodgers made their first significant signing of the offseason by agreeing to a three-year, $48 million contract with Scott Kazmir.
Kazmir’s deal includes an opt-out clause after the 2016 season and deferred salaries. As it stands the lefty figures to slot in the Dodgers rotation behind Clayton Kershaw.
Kazmir may be replacing Zack Greinke in that sense, but he isn’t replacing Greinke. That being said, the 31 year old has been among the better pitchers over the past three seasons as Mike Petriello of MLB.com chronicled.
The southpaw is coming off somewhat of a rough season spent with the Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros. Kazmir finished the year 7-11 with a 3.10 ERA, 3.98 FIP and 1.21 WHIP.
He made 18 starts with the Athletics and 13 with the Astros. Kazmir posted a 2.38 ERA, 3.16 FIP, 1.09 WHIP and averaged 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings with Oakland. His ERA, FIP and WHIP increased to 4.17, 5.19 and 1.39, respectively, after being traded to Houston.
Despite a rough close to the 2015 season, the ZiPS projections provided by ESPN’s Dan Szymborski offer reason for optimism:
Dodgers turned in their project late, but Kazmir excellent work, even with marks off for lateness. pic.twitter.com/rdQzR9JZOR
— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) December 30, 2015
Kazmir may not be the bonafide ace Greinke was, but his signing adds needed depth to the Dodgers’ starting staff, even if it’s at the cost of the rotation being full of lefties. At worst, he’ll be a one-year stopgap that nets the Dodgers a compensatory pick in the 2017 draft.