Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays picked the best time possible in making decision to trade Scott Kazmir

DETROIT — Like or hate the Scott Kazmir trade, there are two things that stand out: the boldness and the timing.

Immersed in a battle to run down the Red Sox for the AL wild card, it would seem the worst possible time to trade a key member of the rotation, leaving the Rays potentially with three rookies among their starting five in September and creating the impression they were surrendering.

But in a way, the timing couldn't have been better.

If the Rays had decided — which they apparently had — that Kazmir wasn't going to be worth the $22.5 million future investment they had in him, they needed, as a low-revenue club, to find a way out.

Kazmir, after struggling much of the season, created an escape window by pitching extremely well his past couple of times out. The Angels emerged as perfect partners, motivated enough in the heat of their own battle to take on the contract and to give back three quality prospects.

A few months ago, the Rays couldn't get nearly as good a deal, or any deal, for Kazmir. (And, as manager Joe Maddon pointed out, no one would have criticized them for trading him then if they had.) A few months from now, they might have had more teams interested but not nearly as motivated during the offseason. And that's without knowing if Kazmir would continue to pitch well or revert to earlier form.

It would have been easier to not make the deal, and the Rays were bold to do so. Maybe not as much as in trading Delmon Young, who at the time was considered to be a future long-term All-Star (and that worked out pretty well), but bold nonetheless. Apart from Fred McGriff at the end of his career, Kazmir may be the biggest name player the Rays have traded, ahead of Roberto Hernandez and Aubrey Huff.

Still, it looked to the Rays like a deal they had to make. Unlike a position player such as, say, Carl Crawford, who was going to have an impact in every game the rest of the season, Kazmir was going to make six or seven more starts. So ultimately the question was how much better would — might? — Kazmir be over those games than Wade Davis or Andy Sonnanstine, and how much difference that would make in a race they need to play better overall to win.

Their conclusion, obviously, was not much. And certainly not more than $22 million worth.

Tampa Bay Rays picked the best time possible in making decision to trade Scott Kazmir 08/29/09 [Last modified: Sunday, August 30, 2009 7:33am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs-Bills: Social media reactions to the Bucs' 30-27 loss


    Here's a sampling of reactions from the media and fans to the Bucs' 30-27 loss Sunday at Buffalo:

    Buffalo Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka (4) is mobbed by teammates after kicking the game-winning field goal late in the fourth quarter. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Buccaneers-Bills: A by-the-numbers look at Tampa Bay's 30-27 loss


    Here's a by-the-numbers look at the Bucs' 30-27 loss at Buffalo on Sunday:


    Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) screams in jubilation after running for a first down late in the fourth quarter. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs-Bills roundtable: Deonte Thompson's late catch spelled 'instant disaster' for Bucs


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Adam Humphries' fumble led to the Bills' game-winning field goal in Tampa Bay's 30-27 loss Sunday at Buffalo. But the Bills' first play after the Bucs finally took the lead was almost as deadly.

    The Buffalo Bills' Deonte Thompson (10) catches a pass in front of Bucs cornerback Brent Grimes (24) during the first half. [AP photo]
  4. Bucs-Bills: Instant analysis from the Bucs' 30-27 loss


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Here's the Tampa Bay Times' Bucs coverage team's instant analysis from the Bucs' 30-27 loss at Buffalo:


    Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Matt Milano (58) intercepts a Jameis Winston (3) pass intended for tight end Cameron Brate (84) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Bucs overcome 11-point deficit, then allow game to slip away, 30-27, to Bills


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — In less than a minute, a hard-fought win — and perhaps much more — slipped away from the Bucs, who gave up 10 points in the final four minutes and lost to the Bills, …

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) tries to turn the corner as Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) forces him out of bounds during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]