Scott Kazmir: Worth A Spring Training Invitation?

Jed Jacobsohn

The former Rays and Angels lefthander was pretty awful for the last couple of years, but at 29 might still have some big-league seasons left in him.

Since I didn't start enough of a firestorm with my Brett Jackson post, let me rile you up a bit more with this:

I was in favor of the Cubs taking a chance on Kazmir when he was released by the Angels in June 2011 and again last offseason. They didn't do it. Neither did anyone else -- Kazmir didn't pitch in organized baseball in 2012, instead throwing for the Sugar Land Express of the Atlantic League. Yes, that's right -- the same team Roger Clemens pitched for late last season. Kazmir wasn't very good there, either, posting a 5.34 ERA and 1.672 WHIP in 14 starts.

But that velocity sounds good. Kazmir's quick decline from his 2005-2008 peak with Tampa Bay screams out "elbow injury", although there was never any definitive proof of this. There were also hints of attitude issues.

In any case, I think it wouldn't hurt at all to give him a minor-league deal with a NRI to spring training. Kazmir will turn 29 in January -- younger than either Scott Baker or Scott Feldman, who have major-league deals with the Cubs -- and if the organization is looking for pitching depth, this might be a cheap way of getting it. If he's bad, just release him. If he's decent but not great, he starts at Iowa as an injury replacement.

Vote in the poll, and weigh in with your comments.

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