Royals Rumors: Scott Kazmir May Be Affordable Option


Kansas City Royals rumors may start to swirl if the starting rotation continues to scuffle.

Look out for KC Royals rumors in the upcoming weeks. The Royals’ rotation has yet to find its groove, despite the team sitting atop the American League Central with a 21-12 record. That is also the best record of any team in the junior circuit.

One option for the KC Royals that has already been voiced is veteran left-hander Scott Kazmir, from the Oakland Athletics. Last week, MLB Daily Dish put forth the idea that Kazmir might be a decent option to bolster that rotation.

It’s hard to argue their point.

Scott Kazmir should certainly be on the short list of solid starters that could really be an upgrade for the Kansas City Royals. He may not be the biggest name on the list, but he may be affordable, and he may be be available sooner.

On Wednesday, we looked at if Cole Hamels would be worth the price it would cost the Kansas City Royals to attain him. In that article, we looked at the stats for the Royals rotation. It wasn’t pretty. Stats are through Tuesday’s game, via Fangraphs.

"Jeremy Guthrie – six starts, 36.1 Innings Pitched, 5.70 ERADanny Duffy – seven starts, 33.1 IP, 5.67 ERAJason Vargas, five starts, 25.2 IP, 5.26 ERAYordano Ventura, six starts, 33.1 IP, 5.17 ERAEdinson Volquez – seven starts, 42.1 IP, 3.17 ERA Chris Young – two starts, 11.0 IP, 0.00 ERA (starter stats only)"

Everyone has struggled but Volquez (and even he has a had a couple of sub par outings), and Young, who has only made two starts.

Scott Kazmir certainly doesn’t have the history of being an ace Hamels has, but he has been an effective starter for the last two seasons, and he may have put those concerns behind him.

In the past, he has been a serious injury risk. In fact, in 2011, he only pitched 1.2 innings, and then missed all of 2012.

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In 2013 through the first few weeks of 2015, Kazmir has made 68 starts, went 27-19, and compiled an Earned Run Average of 3.66, and a WHIP of 1.214 with the Indians and Athletics. These are dependable looking numbers for the 31-year old.

Because Kazmir is a free agent after this season, he should not cost as much as Hamels might. The Athletics only owe Kazmir approximately $9 million for the rest of this season, so the Royals should be able to afford that.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, via this video from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Athletics are still hoping to turn things around this season. They may have to make a decision very soon. They have the second worst record in the American League at 13-22, and trail the first place Astros by eight games.

There might be a pretty good market for Scott Kazmir, which could drive up the price. Still, he shouldn’t cost the Royals two top prospects like Cole Hamels would. Hamels is signed through 2018, and brings some long-term stability to whomever acquires him.

The Royals, if they could make a deal, would only have Kazmir until the end of the season. If he continues to pitch as he has, he would give a big boost to this rotation.

This also means he would probably pitch himself out of Kansas City’s price range, if they wanted to try to sign him as a free agent.

The rotation for the KC Royals is really struggling right now, and Scott Kazmir has to be an option for the team to at least consider. He would not cost near as much, in salary or prospects, and doesn’t offer that ace status. Still, for the short-term, he might be just what the Royals need.

We will be looking at a number of potential targets in the coming weeks as Royals rumors are going to pick up the longer they stay in competition for the division lead. If this rotation continues to struggle, they team will need to make a significant move to protect their fantastic bullpen.

Next: Cole Hamels Could Be The Answer

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