Late last night, the Dodgers and Scott Kazmir announced a deal that will pay Kazmir 45 mil over the next three years but can leave after the 2016 season with an included opt0out clause. The Dodgers will now enter the season with a stunning five left handed pitchers in their rotation. The Dodger’s division opponents do not stack up particularly well against left handed pitching. The Giants have had the most success, however have lost two solid players vs. lefties in Nori Aoki and Marlon Byrd. The same goes for the Rockies who lost Justin Morneau and Wilin Rosario. The Padres, Diamondbacks and Rockies all had losing records against lefties last season. This would be the first all left handed rotation in the history of Major League Baseball. This is all assuming that Hyun-Jin Ryu recovers from left shoulder surgery in time to begin the season and that the Dodgers do not decide to add another pitcher. They are currently rumored to be looking into a deal with free-agent Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda.
Kazmir, 32 next month, was one of the top remaining starters on the market and should provide the Dodgers with a sizable upgrade over their internal options to round out the rotation. Formerly one of the game’s most promising young pitchers, Kazmir’s career went south in a hurry last decade due to myriad injuries, and he was absent from Major League Baseball entirely from 2011-12 with the exception of 1 2/3 innings with the Angels. However, Kazmir reinvented himself on the independent circuit and emerged with the Indians in 2013 to throw 158 quality innings. That prompted a two-year deal with Oakland, which he completed in 2015 (as a member of the Astros, following a trade).
Since returning to the Majors, Kazmir has compiled a 3.54 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a ground-ball rate of roughly 43 percent. He’s faded down the stretch somewhat in each of the past two seasons but delivered an overall strong body of work in that time, positioning himself for a sizable commitment on the open market.