Kansas City Royals pursuing Scott Kazmir


The Kansas City Royals are pursuing free agent lefty Scott Kazmir, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. The Royals have some holes in their pitching staff with the departures of Johnny CuetoJeremy Guthrie and Chris Young, though the last of the three is reportedly close to reaching a new deal with the club.

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Cueto will be the one the Royals need to replace most, as Kansas City is left relying on Edinson Volquez and Yordano Ventura with his departure. Kazmir would provide another option at the top, and would also allow for Jason Vargas to take his time recovering from Tommy John Surgery.

While the Royals would obviously prefer to bring in a top-tier arm like a Cueto, pitchers of his tier are likely out of Kansas City’s price range. Kazmir profiles to fit much better into the team’s budget, and would also leave them some wiggle room to add another reliever or take a flier on another corner outfielder.

Kazmir enters free agency coming off a successful three-year stretch with Cleveland, Oakland and Houston. The Indians gave Kazmir a chance in 2013 after he rebuilt his stock in independent ball, and he turned that opportunity into 29 starts in which he posted a 4.04 ERA and posted a 9.2 K/9 rate. That earned him a two-year, $20-million contract with the Athletics before the 2014 season, and he was traded to Houston at this year’s July trade deadline.

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Kazmir likely presents the best possible option for the Royals on the open market, though they could opt to go for top pitchers with cheaper salaries on the trade market, as the Braves, Indians and others could match up as trade partners at the upcoming Winter Meetings.