User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Soccer
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
A's finalize two-year contract with Kazmir

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - If those independent league road trips weren't humbling enough for Scott Kazmir, starting over from square one with his delivery and mechanics sure did the trick.

Advertisement
As Kazmir looks back a couple of years now, a fresh $22 million, two-year contract with the Oakland Athletics in hand, that challenging time in his baseball career is all worthwhile.

''The past couple years the organization has had a great team, a great fan base and that definitely swayed my decision a little bit,'' said Kazmir, who drew serious interest from several clubs.

The two-time defending AL West champion A's announced the deal Wednesday after Kazmir passed his physical. The addition of Kazmir fills a key rotation spot with a player plenty familiar with the division after his stint pitching for the Los Angeles Angels.

A's general manager Billy Beane, who also made three trades in the past three days to build his 2014 roster, isn't ready to pencil Kazmir into a particular spot in the club's young rotation. That will be up to manager Bob Melvin.

''The advantage of having as much good starting pitching as you can get is something that has helped make us successful,'' Beane said. ''The more we looked at it, the more we thought we should jump on the opportunity to bring him in. Having five good starters, and I think in some respects we have more, puts us, puts the club in a position of strength.''

That was before the two-time All-Star was limited to one start in 2011 for the Angels before going on the disabled list with a lower back strain and being released. The 29-year-old Kazmir then spent the 2012 season with independent Sugar Land before bouncing back to go 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA in 29 starts and 158 innings for Cleveland this year.

''Pitching in the AL West, I'm very comfortable there. I like pitching in the Oakland stadium,'' Kazmir said. ''After my time in Los Angeles with the Angels, I kind of did a lot of self-evaluating and a lot of hard work getting to where I was last year.''

A stint in the Atlantic League with Sugar Land - a mere 20 minutes from his Houston-area home - provided Kazmir an ideal place to find himself again.

''It was a great venue for me to get back into the game, get my feet wet again, face hitters. It surprised me, the challenge that was in that league, definitely surprised me and got me ready for this past season,'' Kazmir said. ''It was a lot of fun. The road trips weren't ideal to say the least.''

Kazmir went 9-15 in 2010 for Los Angeles and Beane recalls his early days among baseball's best lefties.

Taking the long road back to the big leagues has only helped Kazmir get to this point.

''It's probably a great learning experience. He was one of the top prospects coming out of high school in the game,'' Beane said. ''It was probably a character-building experience for him as much as anything. There's an appreciation in having made that climb back that will serve him well going forward.''

Despite all of the hours in the video room, tweaking his delivery and mechanics, Kazmir still considers himself much like his old hard-throwing self - just with some added elements.

''Stuff wise, I feel like I'm the same pitcher,'' Kazmir said. ''I'm a lot more of a pitcher now than I was in my early years. I was more a guy who threw as hard as I could and got swings and misses.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
News: 2015 MLB Divisional Odds
News: SuperBook posts Win Totals
News: 2015 MLB Win Totals
Legendary Cuban star Minnie Minoso dies
Rangers Darvish: "I didn't quit on team."
Angels' Richards progressing in rehab
White Sox ace Sale has foot fracture
A-Rod may play in Yanks' spring opener
MLB may play spring games in Cuba
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2014 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 6791
Kevin Rogers + 4352
Doc's Sports + 4139
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
James Manos + 2894
Kevin Rogers + 2335
Dave Cokin + 2015
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Tony Stoffo + 2080
Antony Dinero + 1208
Doc's Sports + 643
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 2387
Doc's Sports + 2027
Kyle Hunter + 1852
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 2132
Antony Dinero + 1807
Joe Nelson + 1100
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 2159
Doc's Sports + 1745
Joe Williams + 1352
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy Sager Bomb