The Oakland Athletics are still seeking Scott Kazmir's services even after the reported signing of Henderson Alvarez, according to CSN Bay Area's Joe Stiglich. Stiglich writes, "A source with knowledge of the situation said Oakland is still in the running to sign Kazmir, one of the top starters left on the open market." The Bay Area News Group's John Hickey reports Kazmir "is amenable to a return to Oakland."
With the A's pushing the low $80 millions in payroll for 2015 assuming the Alvarez deal is made official and Kazmir sitting on "multiple three-year offers, probably in the $12-13 million dollar range," according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman on Friday, an extra push on payroll is pretty surprising. Heyman believes Kazmir is holding out for a fourth year.
Where the A's might save in the next few years
About $10 million comes off the books in 2017 after arbitration raises, a buyout for Coco Crisp, and free agency for Josh Reddick, Sam Fuld, Rich Hill, and Marc Rzepczynski.
The incumbent infield could also give way to prospects graduating to the majors. Danny Valencia and Yonder Alonso will both be entering their final arbitration years and could earn $4-6 million each in tradeable or non-tenderable deals. Jed Lowrie will also be entering the final guaranteed year of his deal in 2017, when he earns $6.5 million and a potential $1 million buyout of his 2018 club option.
Such savings could allow the A's to offer an extension to Josh Reddick or open up outfielder trade possibilities.
Briefly: Jarrod Parker avoids arbitration
The A's announced that they have agreed to terms with Jarrod Parker on a one-year deal that avoid arbitration. The Associated Press reports that Parker will earn $850,000, of which $425,000 is guaranteed.
The $850,000 matches what he was awarded by an arbitration panel prior to the 2015 season as a test case for starting pitchers who had undergone a Tommy John surgery in the season immediately prior to their first arbitration hearing. Parker was the first A's player to go all the way to an arbitration panel's decision in 10 years.
Parker will be trying to return to the A's rotation in 2016, but John Hickey reports that "while the A's are hopeful that he will be a factor for them in 2016, they won't know until spring training and beyond if he's healthy enough to pitch."
The A's have just four arbitration-eligible players remaining: Josh Reddick, Yonder Alonso, Danny Valencia, and Fernando Rodriguez.