The Kazmir deal has been completed today, with Sean Rodriguez heading to Tampa Bay. By my count, this makes three solid prospects for a player who you could make the argument has little to no surplus value, making this a potential steal for Tampa Bay. Using Sky's Trade Value Calculator, here's my hunch for Kazmir.
|Year||Sal (M)||WAR||Val (M)||Net (M)|
2.7 and 2.4 WAR could either be seen as too optimistic or pessimistic, depending on what you believe about Kazmir. I'm also assuming Kazmir's $13.5M club option does not get picked up. Overall, I think I'm being more than fair; for two straight seasons Kaz has been trending in the wrong direction. His strikeouts have gone down, he's allowing more homers and more contact. Kazmir's tRA's the last three seasons have been 3.32, 4.78 and 5.01. There's also the issue of how many innings Kazmir can give the Angels. He's topped 200 innings only once one what's going on a six-year career, and is probably won't throw more than 150 innings this season. That said, he has gotten better as of late. If you think I'm off, then just adjust the math in your head.
The trade does little to hurt the Rays dwindling chances this year as it is. The Rays probably can manage with a four-man rotation the rest of the season. To take Kazmir's place next year, the Rays' have their pick from top prospects Wade Davis and Jeremy Hellickson; either of which could conceivably pitch as well as Kazmir for the next two seasons, and for the league minimum at that.
The Rays get:
- Sean Rodriguez, 24, who has posted some some gaudy numbers for Triple-A Salt Lake - 29 homers and .299/.398/.616 line. Rodriguez is average as a second baseman but could play all over the diamond. He's already played 71 big league games, and didn't qualify for John Sickels Top 20's last year, but was given a B grade the year before. I'd say his surplus value is about $5M.
- Alex Torres, 21, is an undersized lefty pitcher that gets ground outs and strikeouts at a good clip. Sickels gave him a C+ grade last year, giving him a surplus value of $2 mil. Maybe he gets bumped to a B this year, but for now I think C is fair enough.
- Matt Sweeney, 21, is a big third baseman with decent walk and strikeout rates. He missed all of last year with a knee injury, but is hitting .299/.379/.517 in the hitter friendly Cal League. He didn't make Sickels list last year, he's probably in line for a C grade, giving him a surplus value of $700K.
The Rays free themselves of some much needed payroll and got about the maximum return possible. If Kazmir returns to form, then it'll look good for both sides. I tend to believe that vintage Kazmir won't be coming back, which is why this is quite the coup for the Rays.