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Angels release Scott Kazmir after latest horrible rehab start

Jun 15, 2011, 7:38 PM EDT

Scott Kazmir

Scott Kazmir reached the end of the line with the Angels on Wednesday.  After giving up six runs in 1 2/3 innings for Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday night, he was placed on release waivers by the club, which is prepared to eat the approx. $9.5 million he’s still owed.

After Kazmir struggled throughout spring training and then got lit up for five runs in 1 2/3 innings in his one regular-season start, the Angels stashed him on the DL in April, hoping he’d rediscover his form after a brief break.  Kazmir, though, wasn’t able to recover, even after a month and a half rest from working in games.  He had a 17.02 ERA in his five rehab starts for Salt Lake.

Kazmir ends his Angels career having gone 11-17 with a 5.31 ERA in 35 starts.  Those results cost the Halos $22.5 million and the three players they sent to the Rays in trade in Aug. 2009: Sean Rodriguez, Alex Torres and Matt Sweeney.

Once Kazmir clears waivers, he should be pretty popular with teams looking to bolster their pitching depth. It wouldn’t be surprised if both the Red Sox and Yankees, who saw Kazmir at his best plenty of times when he pitched for the Rays, come calling.  He’s a mess right now — his delivery needs an overhaul, not just a tweek or two — but he might not be an entirely lost cause.

  1. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    Hello Yankees!

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:12 PM

      LOL! I want him to pitch for the Yankees also.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:01 AM

        you say that now until they straighten him out and he’s killing the AL east again like he used to, then you will be crying. Then again you are always crying proudly, thats never gonna change.

      • bigharold - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:27 AM

        Clear Waivers, … check.
        Sign with the Yankees, … check.
        Detour to the Dominican Republic for a quick stem cell procedure, … check.
        Polish up the delivery in Scranton, … check.
        Return to form and hack off the Nation in the process, … check.

        He’s likely going to end up somewhere because he’s a lefty AND he’ll cost nothing to take a look. With the Yankees? Perhaps. If anybody says they predicted the route Colon took this season they’re lying. So stranger things have happened.

    • florida727 - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:08 PM

      Yeah. 35 starts and a losing record, to go along with a 17+ ERA in the MINORS. I’m sure the Yankees and Red Sox are just chomping at the bit to land him. This is why contracts should be incentive-laden. Past performance is never an indicator of future results in baseball. When will these idiot team owners learn?

  2. pjmarn6 - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    Why is it so hard for modern sports to arrive at the understanding that if you don’t perform you don’t get paid? The average joe, doesn’t show up for work, he gets docked. The assembly man doesn’t produce, his salary is less, if you are on commission and don’t make your quota don’t expect your paycheck to be fat.
    Here is a typical case. The pitcher can’t pitch. Ergo no money.

    • Jeremiah Graves - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:24 PM

      I think the problem is that the Assembly Man and the Average Joe didn’t sign lucrative, multi-year contracts that are guaranteed. As a dude who works full-time and barely cracked $30k last year and most of that went to rent and student loans, I hate it as much as the next guy, but it is what it is.

      Guaranteed contracts in baseball are going nowhere.

    • jwbiii - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:36 PM

      Are suggesting that contracts should be unenforcible? That a player who is clearly outperforming his contract, say, Michael Pineda, should be able to declare himself a free agent tomorrow?

    • skerney - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:47 PM

      It’s called a contract. Average Joes get paid by the hour and baseball players have a union that bargains collectively to set the terms of their pay structure. It’s simple really. If owners don’t like it, let them introduce your good idea when the CBA expires. Let’s see how well that goes over.

      • oikosjeremy - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:07 PM

        While collective bargaining does set some rules that affect player contracts (e.g., rules on when you can become a free agent), I don’t think the fact that most contracts are guaranteed (which is why the Angels have to keep paying Kazmir) is collectively bargained, is it? I thought the reason players got guaranteed contracts was because of competition for their services among owners. An owner could decide to offer only non-guaranteed contracts, or contracts where every dollar is linked to some sort of performance clause, but he’d have problems signing any decent players because they’d all sign with other teams.

      • jwbiii - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:35 AM

        Multi-year contract are guaranteed under the current CBA.

    • bigharold - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:30 AM

      “Why is it so hard for modern sports to arrive at the understanding that if you don’t perform you don’t get paid?”

      The crux of the issue is that they clearly have a better union than you. Or, me too.

      • jwbiii - Jun 16, 2011 at 9:25 AM

        If you are a line cook at Burger King and Humbert Keller offers you a job which pays somewhat more, you can hand your BK apron to your boss and say “See Ya!” Michael Pineda can’t do that.

    • hittfamily - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:22 AM

      If this was the case, the rays wouldnt ever be able to make payroll. They thrive off a great minor league system and letting the prospects on cheap contracts pay off in the majors, then head elsewhere in search of big money. When they leave, up come cheap prospects. Those who arent prospects, are cheap veteran castoffs that they retool into productive players, who all eventually leave after a career rebirth. They have one of the top 3 rotations in baseball, and if it were a pay by merit system, they would have to release Shields, Price, and Hellickson and bring in a scrub who would be terrible. They would then be breaking rules by intentionally throwing games. The management would intentionally try not to be successful and find that hidden gem.

    • Joe - Jun 16, 2011 at 8:48 AM

      It’s also called the “free market.” Guys sign guaranteed contracts because somebody in the market is willing to offer a guaranteed contract. If ten teams offer a non-guaranteed contract (they do exist – usually they are minor league deals) and team number 11 wants the guy badly enough to offer a guaranteed deal, the player is going to take the guaranteed deal. That’s how the competitive free market works.

      The “average Joe” doesn’t have the unique skill set of a major league free agent. You can’t compare these guys to line workers, they are the top of their profession. You need to compare them to top executives and CEOs. Who, by the way, do get paid even if they don’t perform.

  3. Jeremiah Graves - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    Maybe he makes the move the NL and the Cards.

    Dave Duncan has worked miracles before, hell one of ’em was pitching in the rotation beside Kaz until Scotty got dumped.

    If Duncan can work his magical mojo on Kazmir, the Cards might have exactly what they need to run away with the division, especially if the real Chris Carpenter ever shows up and sticks around for an extended period.

  4. SmackSaw - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Mr. Tanana? Mr. Kazmir on the line for you.

  5. deathmonkey41 - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    He should go to the Red Sox, where he’ll be “In the best shape of his life” and become an instant Cy Young canidate. Plus, if he gets injured, he’ll most likely recover a lot quicker.

    • bigharold - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:33 AM

      Theo tried low risk high reward one already and it blew up in his face. I doubt that he’d want to try that again.

      • Joe - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:24 AM

        You give up after one? The very idea behind “low risk/high reward” is that nine times out of ten it’s not going to work out, but it doesn’t cost anything, and the one guy who does work out justifies the process.

        I mean, you don’t want to build a rotation with a bunch of LR/HR guys, but putting one or two in AAA as insurance isn’t a bad idea at all.

  6. depotmaster - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:17 AM

    Hello, Mr. Matt.

    I predict Kaz will follow Mr. Perez to the Nationals system and join the endless list of reclamation projects the Nats seem to be stockpiling.

    Your thoughts?

    • hittfamily - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:02 AM

      Would I be nuts to think he ends up back in the Rays organization. They have good luck with veteran castaways (Carlos Pena, Casey Kotchmann, Matt Joyce, Kyle Farnsworth). It seems like all pitchers seem to benefit from their coaching, and miss those coaches when they leave (Wheeler, Soriano, Benoit) They dont need another starter this year, but I think Kazmir is a long way away from ever playing in the majors again.

  7. Old Gator - Jun 16, 2011 at 5:48 AM

    That isn’t Scott Kazimir. It’s a pod person.

  8. mrznyc - Jun 16, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    When free agency first started to rear it’s head, Charlie Finley proposed that MLB simply accept free agency – No compensation picks and none of the other nonsense that goes with free agency – All players are free to negeotiate with whoever they want – In return the players agree to one year contracts – The rest of the owner thought they’d be giving away the store and vetoed the idea out of hand. Then again, it’s never been a crowd praised for it’s forward thinking attitude toward the game.

  9. gokendrys - Jun 16, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    For what it’s worth, Kaz signed this contract back in 2008 when he was still with the Rays.

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