The cost was two well-regarded prospects from High Class A Lancaster, catcher Jacob Nottingham and righthander Daniel Mengden.
With a 2.38 ERA over 18 starts in 2015, the 31-year-old Kazmir emerged as the top pitcher on the market this season, and was dealt for two players in High-A. The team had improved in the offseason, but few thought they would contend this year.
The lefty fills a massive need for Houston; outside of ace Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers, no Astros starter has an ERA under 4.25 on the season, according to ESPN.com.
The Astros rotation has actually been fairly solid this season, ranking 10th in WAR. Scott Feldman, Brad Peacock and Brett Oberholtzer have been injured for much of the year and Collin McHugh has been largely inconsistent. The return is a perhaps not as exciting as some had hoped, but the Houston Astros’ made an offer that Billy Beane seems to have been satisfied with.
And the price the Astros paid was a pair of players who starred for the Quad-Cities River Bandits during their record-setting run through the Midwest League early this season. 326 with 14 homers and a. 941 OPS in 76 games at Single-A this year. Kazmir is also a free agent after this season.
The Blue Jays reportedly showed interest in Kazmir, but could not reach a deal with Oakland.
This trade is a win-win for both teams as the Astros get their starting pitcher and the Athletics get prospects as they look to rebuild. His upside is similar to former A’s backstop Derek Norris, though Nottingham projects to have a better chance to hit for average. “It has been a while since the Astros have been relevant late in the summer, and winning now is a priority”.
Being 11 games out of the American League West race, it was expected that the A’s would make this move, although tossing him over to the Astros might come as a shock to some folks.