The Oakland Athletics' interest in Scott Kazmir is rumored to be done, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, "The Athletics' reported agreement with free-agent righty Henderson Alvarez on a one-year, $4.25 million contract takes them out of play for free-agent lefty Scott Kazmir, sources say." The A's will have a payroll in the low-$80 millions once the Alvarez signing is announced.
This rumor comes just 14 hours after USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale placed the A's alongside a half-dozen teams as "finalists" for Kazmir's services, and about 48 hours after CSN California's Joe Stiglich said the A's were still in the running for Kazmir after the reported signing of Henderson Alvarez.
I can only speculate on what could have caused the news to change so dramatically. Perhaps the market moved above the three-year deals in the $12-13 million dollar range reported by CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Or perhaps the A's were encouraged with Henderson Alvarez's health after he arrived in Oakland today, presumably for a physical prior to the official announcement of his deal:
Can you guys guess which airport I'm at? pic.twitter.com/LX4kPR877e— Henderson Alvarez (@HendersonA37) December 21, 2015
If this rumor holds up, the A's are not necessarily out of the starting pitching market, but look for them to focus on shorter-term deals like the Alvarez move or even minor league contracts with opt outs.