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Friday, July 23, 2010
Is Scott Kazmir a GM killer?


Angels left-hander Scott Kazmir has a way of making general managers look very bad, as ESPN's Rob Neyer details in this blog post.

Six years ago, Mets GM Jim Duquette shipped a 20-year-old Kazmir to the Tampa Bay Rays for mediocre starter Victor Zambrano. Kazmir practically destroyed Duquette's career by turning into one of the most promising pitchers in baseball in his early 20s.

Now, at 26, he's making Angels GM Tony Reagins look foolish for acquiring him in exchange for a good utility guy, Sean Rodriguez, a promising pitching prospect, Alex Torres and another guy, Matt Sweeney. Kazmir was bad in the playoffs last year and now he's on the disabled list, mostly because he has the worst ERA in the majors (6.92).

The Angels got good news about Kazmir's shoulder: an MRI exam revealed only "fatigue" in his left shoulder.

Now for the bad news: the Angels will owe him at least $13.5 million beyond this season.

There's a reason Kazmir moved after the trade deadline last year. Other teams saw what the Angels could not: warning signs. Kazmir had been dealing with an endless succession of minor injuries, his once-deadly slider had gone away and his velocity was on the decline.

Kazmir says he watches video of himself and, "can't even tell if that's me out there. It's getting a little out of control."

Those are not encouraging words if you're the Angels and hoping this guy can get himself turned around.