The Oakland Athletics are among several interested teams still pursuing Scott Kazmir, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The A's are joined by the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles, says Heyman, as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Heyman says Kazmir is said to be sitting on "multiple three-year offers, probably in the $12-13 million dollar range."
The hang up seems to be that Kazmir is waiting for a team to jump to a fourth year, and Heyman predicts, "Quite likely, Kazmir will jump at the first reasonable offer four-year offer he gets." Kazmir will turn 32 next month.
This development comes after the A's were rumored to be among the teams that offered Bartolo Colon a deal higher than the one-year, $7.25 million contract he accepted from the New York Mets. A's payroll sits around $77 million, and a deal in the $12-13 million dollar range would track with A's paramount baseball operations leader Billy Beane saying there would be a slight increase in payroll for 2016.
There appears to have been three options for Oakland's rotation after signing Rich Hill, and their preferences were (1) sign an innings-eating veteran like Bartolo Colon, (2) sign a veteran with question marks about late-season performance like Scott Kazmir for multiple years, and (3) stand pat. A Bartolo signing would have represented a year-to-year effort to plug in perhaps anticipated rotation shortfalls from injuries. A Kazmir signing would be a more permanent, although more expensive move.
About $10 million comes off the books after 2016, and there are a number of tradeable players on the infield that could make way for infield prospects knocking on the door. How high the A's go in chasing Kazmir could also indirectly represent Oakland's confidence level in those prospects to take the place of more expensive veterans like Yonder Alonso, Jed Lowrie, and Danny Valencia, all reaching free agency after 2017.
BRIEFLY: Jon Heyman also notes in his Inside Baseball column that the A's have "no room for legendary Oakland product Jimmy Rollins," according to "an A's person."