Ex-Ray LHP Scott Kazmir signs minor league deal with Indians
In the same week the Rays picked up a former Indians All-Star pitcher, Cleveland will try a reclamation project of its own with a former Tampa Bay ace.
Ex-Ray All-Star lefthander Scott Kazmir signed a minor-league deal with the Indians on Friday, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Kazmir, 28, is attempting to reclaim his once-promising career, having drawn interest from teams following a strong showing in the Puerto Rican Winter league, where he regained some of his velocity.
Injuries and ineffectiveness led to Kazmir's release by the Angels in 2011, just two years after acquiring him from the Rays for INF Sean Rodriguez, LHP Alex Torres and Matt Sweeney.
Unable to find a major league home in 2012, Kazmir pitched for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League, going 3-6 with a 5.34 ERA. This winter in Puerto Rico, Kazmir struck out 27 in 22 2/3 innings, going 0-2 with a 4.37 ERA in five starts for the Gigantes de Carolina.
It'll be interesting to see what happens with Kazmir in spring training. He's still relatively young, and if his velocity has increased to the 90-94 mph range as has been reported, he might be able to find his way back. This is the same guy who once held most of the Rays pitching records, and led the AL in strikeouts in 2007.
That was the same year Roberto Hernandez, then as Fausto Carmona, finished fourth in the AL Cy Young voting for Cleveland. The Rays signed Hernandez Tuesday to a one-year deal, expecting he could compete for a spot in the rotation.
-- JOE SMITH