As Scott Kazmir and Jeff Samardzija enter the final years of their contracts, the Athletics will listen to offers for them on the trade market, according to Ken Rosenthal on FOXSports.com. Rosenthal also notes that the team is not open to trading third baseman Josh Donaldson.
Kazmir will make $13 million in 2015, while Samardzija will enter his final year of arbitration, and could make as much as $9 million. As for Donaldson, 2015 will be his first year of arbitration, and he will likely be relatively cheap for a guy that has produced over 14 wins in the last two years, according to Fangraphs.
Kazmir, once an elite prospect with the Mets, had a bounce-back year with the Cleveland Indians in 2013. After appearing in just one MLB game in 2011 and 2012, Kazmir posted a 4.04 ERA over 29 starts for the Tribe in 2013. Proving he was healthy once again, the A's decided to take a chance on Kazmir, and signed him to a two-year, $22 million contract. Kazmir did not disappoint, as he posted a 3.55 ERA over 32 starts in Oakland in 2014. He will enter the 2015 season at 31 years old, and have a chance to pitch his way into another multi-year deal in 2016.
In early July, Samardzija and teammate Jason Hammel were sent to Oakland in exchange for a group of highly regarded prospects, including Addison Russell. After joining Oakland, Samardzija would make 16 starts, to the tune of a 3.14 ERA. Samardzija had strong seasons for the Cubs in 2012 and 2013, but a 4.1 WAR in 2014 makes him one of the top starters on the trade market this offseason.
Rosenthal notes that the A's are not openly shopping both pitchers, but merely willing to listen to offers. He goes on to say that the A's could decide to hang on to both pitchers, and then make qualifying offers after the 2015 season. In doing so, they would have the chance to add two compensatory draft picks for the 2016 draft.