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Scott Kazmir traded from Rays to Angels

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Scott Kazmir was acquired by the Angels early Saturday for minor league pitching prospect Alex Torres, infielder Matt Sweeney, and right-hander Jordan Walden. From a financial standpoint Tampa Bay has got to feel good about trading Scott Kazmir. Had Kazmir remained with the Rays he likely would’ve been part of an elite group of players in the "12.5 Percent Club". Players like Johan Santana, Alex Rodriquez, Roy Halladay, Eric Byrnes, and Jeff Suppan are all members. Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and all of the Redsox are not. What this means is Kazmir would have accounted for at least one-eighth of the Rays total payroll. The Rays $63 million dollar payroll is small potatoes compared to other MLB teams and the $8 million Kazmir was set to make in 2010 would have sunk the Rays.

One has to think though. Other than being a good financial move, why would the Rays let such an elite pitcher go? Kazmir is only 25, has been an All-Star twice and helped the Rays to the World Series in 2008. He led the league in strikeouts in 2007 and has a career record of 55-45 and a 3.92 ERA. Not to mention Kazmir threw 4 consecutive no-hitters on his way to 6 no, no’s in a span of 7 starts during high school. Kazmir also broke the Texas high school record formerly set by Josh Beckett, by striking out 175 batters in 75 innings. That’s over 2 batters per inning. Absolutely amazing! I guess when it comes down to it, saving money is more important than winning right now for the Rays.

Overall I think the Angels got the better end of this deal. Kazmir gives the Angels the help they need to strengthen up the middle of their shaky rotation and should help the Halos tremendously come September. If Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana can stay healthy and continue improving Kazmir should get back to performing like he did before he got hurt earlier this year.

Kazmir is set to make is Angels debut Wednesday, September 2nd at Seattle.