[Update] Joel Sherman of The New York Post is now reporting that Angels assume responsibility for remainder of Kazmir’s contract which is about $20 million.
[Update] Jon Heyman of SI.com is now reporting Rays will also receive a third prospect, a player to be named later.
Keep in mind that third player could be on Angels’ 40-man roster. This time of year if a prospect on 40-man roster is traded, he must first clear waivers. That is unlikely, so teams just wait until after the season to complete deal.
[Update] Marc Topkin is now reporting that the deal is expected to be announced within the hour.
[Update] Now, Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the deal is done and that Kazmir will “definitely” be traded to the Angels…And in other news, I need a beer.
[Update] Now MLB.com is saying the deal to the Angels has fallen through.
[Update] The LA Times also confirms the deal.
[Update] Let’s look forward and see what this means for the Rays both short-term and long-term…
Kazmir was scheduled to start on Tuesday in the opening game of the Red Sox series. James Shields is scheduled to go on Monday and the Rays have not announced a starter for Sunday, which would be Jeff Niemann’s normal spot. With the off-day yesterday, everybody is on an extra day of rest. Shields could get moved up to Sunday with Niemann held back for Monday or Tuesday. Either way it looks like the Rays will need a starter on Monday or Tuesday.
There are three options in Durham. Wade Davis and Andy Sonnanstine are on the 40-man roster. Jeremy Hellickson, who has been dominant in limited triple-A duty, is not. Those three also happen to be the next three starting pitchers for Durham starting tonight, and in that order. So whomever is skipped, will most likely be in a Rays uniform on Monday or Tuesday.
Also consider that the Rays may want to use a sixth starter in September on either a full-time or part-time basis. That means the Rays would need to promote two of these guys.
Finally, when we spoke with Andrew Friedman last year, the most telling comment he made was about no move is ever made in a vacuum. There is always a bigger picture.
This makes us wonder if the Rays may make another move in the next few days. We can envision a scenario in which Friedman wanted to add a player but couldn’t add payroll. Might the Rays bring in another starting pitcher, one they value over Kazmir? Just spit-ballin’.
Which leads to next year. Moving Kazmir will save the Rays $8 million in 2009. That alone would move the payroll in the range that may be more acceptable to Stuart Sternberg and means the Rays are far more likely to hold on to Carl Crawford.
[Update] Beto Duran of ESPN Radio in LA is saying it is a done deal. Scott Kazmir is now a member of the LA Angels.
[Update] Marc Topkin is reporting (via Twitter) that Kazmir is in Rays clubhouse and has not heard anything. He actually thought the writers were joking when they brought it up.
Also, Will Carroll is reporting that Kazmir will be used as a relief pitcher with the Angels.
[3:58pm] Lyle Spencer of MLB.com is reporting that the Rays are close to a deal that would send Scott Kazmir to the Angels for two prospects.
The Angels are on the verge of bolstering their beleaguered rotation for the stretch run by trading for left-hander Scott Kazmir from the Rays for a pair of prospects.
The Rays will get pitcher Alexander Torres and third baseman Matthew Sweeney in return in the deal, which is expected to be announced later today.
Torres is a 21-year old lefty that was recently promoted to double-A. He was 10-3 with a 2.74 ERA with 124 strikeouts in 121.1 innings at high-A. He is 2-1 with a 4.20 ERA in three double-A starts.
Sweeney, a third baseman, was an 8th round pick in 2006 and is hitting .299/.379/.517 with 9 home runs in 58 games at high-A.
Angels close to deal for Kazmir [MLB]