Buster Olney of ESPN believes teams’ interest in free agent lefty Scott Kazmir will increase following his strong start in the Dominican Winter League. Pitching for the Gigantes de Carolina, Kazmir threw six innings yesterday, allowing six hits and one run while striking out seven and issuing one walk. Kazmir spent 2012 in the independent Atlantic League after eight seasons in the majors with the Rays and the Angels.
Kazmir is a two time All Star, but injuries and ineffectiveness have plagued him over the past four seasons. His fastball dropped from an average of 92.4 mph in 2007 to just 86.8 mph in 2011. Just one and two-thirds innings into the 2011 season he went to the disabled list and then to the minors. He was unable to find a place with a Major League organization in 2012 and took work with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League, going 3-6 with a 5.34 ERA for the club.
Kazmir has been on a number of teams' radar already this off-season, according to Olney, but a strong showing against ex-major leaguers like Robinson Cancel and prospects like Raymond Fuentes (San Diego Padres) should help his chances of finding a deal.