Before 2009 started, Scott Kazmir had a 3.61 career ERA (124 ERA+), a 47-37 record, and a K/9 ratio of 9.7. He was the most successful pitcher in Tampa Bay Rays history, and he was locked up for the long-term, signed through 2011 for $36 million.
After a horrendous first half with the Rays, the team started to get nervous that a broken pitcher was going to command about a quarter of the payroll, so, they put Kazmir on waivers.
The Los Angeles Angels came to the Rays' rescue, taking the contract and giving up a couple of minor leaguers along the way. The idea was that if Kazmir bounced back, they'd have an ace-type pitcher locked up on a team-friendly, short-term deal. For six starts in 2009 after Kazmir joined the Angels, it looked like a brilliant gambit.
The 29 starts after that? Less successful. Kazmir was one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball in 2010, and after a long stint in extended spring training, Kazmir has been the worst pitcher in the minors in 2011. He posted a 17.02 ERA in 15-1/3 innings, walking 20, hitting six, and throwing five wild pitches. Also, his control was bad. So the Angels finally waived Kazmir on Tuesday.
So while there will certainly be another team that will think they can fix a pitcher who used to be one of the better southpaws in the AL, the Angels and Kazmir are officially splitsville. Like the dust that lufts high in June, the Angels have moved past Kazmir.