Here's a quick look at the early reactions around baseball to the Oakland Athletics trading Scott Kazmir to the Houston Astros for minor league catcher Jacob Nottingham and minor league pitcher Daniel Mengden.
Early hot takes
Microwave Hot Take: The Oakland-Houston Scott Kazmir Trade Is Great for Everyone (Michael Baumann, Grantland)
From Oakland GM Billy Beane's perspective, the A's off-loaded a free-agent-to-be and got two interesting prospects back. With Kazmir set to leave this offseason and the A's 11 games out of first place, his value to them was pretty much zero. That the A's are underperforming their third-order record by 11 games isn't that comforting when there isn't enough time to regress all the way back to the mean.
A’s, Astros Open Market with Scott Kazmir Trade | FanGraphs Baseball (Jeff Sullivan, FanGraphs)
What once looked like an extreme seller's market has become more buyer-friendly, so that worked to Oakland's disadvantage, but it also helped them some to strike first. Now everyone else gets a chance to respond. Now a fair value has been set. Now a dozen teams can call on Ben Zobrist, understanding better than ever that he is, indeed, available, and going to go somewhere in the next week and a half.
Breaking Down the Prospects in the Scott Kazmir Trade | FanGraphs Baseball (Kiley McDaniel, FanGraphs)
Both players were among the group of six given 35+ FV grades, so they were both in the 23-28 range in Houston's system entering the year. I don't have inside info on how the negotiations went down, but I'm guessing Kazmir was long a target for Houston (as they took a run at him this offseason) and Oakland was holding out for a top 10 prospect in the Astros organization. Based on the preseason rankings, this will look like a light return, but given Nottingham's breakout season, they did indeed land a guy who would have ranked in the Astros top 10 if the list was re-done today.
A's-Astros trade fills needs on both sides (Jim Callis, MLB.com)
The Scott Kazmir trade made perfect sense for both clubs. The contending Astros got a veteran starting pitcher, while the Athletics netted two prospects -- catcher Jacob Nottingham and right-hander Daniel Mengden -- for the future. Kazmir returns to his hometown to give Houston a serious rotation upgrade. Assuming the Astros hold on to their current playoff position, they could trot out All-Star Game starter Dallas Keuchel, Kazmir and rookie sensation Lance McCullers in their first three postseason games.
HOT MAGMA RADIOACTIVE TAKE
Oakland A's are disgusting (Lowell Cohn, Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Why would anyone read content from blogs when we have great long form analysis from newspaper veterans like this. pic.twitter.com/ifUM6nmS9j— Ben Koo (@bkoo) July 23, 2015
Lowell Cohn’s takes require cooling with liquid helium— Head Spoonerizer (@cuppingmaster) July 23, 2015
Merely flaming take
Killion: My, what different directions the Giants and A’s are going (Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle)
The Giants lead the league in first-half jersey sales, with three of the top six sellers belonging to San Francisco players (Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence). There's a reason for that. Giants fans know that they can invest in their players, that they will stick around long enough for the new-jersey smell to wear off.
Several teams told me they think A's did really well in Kazmir trade consensus is Nottingham will be middle of order Bat w catching skills— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) July 23, 2015
Consensus among execs asked: #Athletics got prospects whose profile they like -- offensive C, college pitchability SP (cont)— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 23, 2015
The #Astros engaged in talks with #Whitesox about Jeff Samardzija before acquiring Kazmir from #Athletics, sources say.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 23, 2015
One source said it came down to #Astros and #Athletics being a "better fit'' more than #Whitesox being indecisive to deal.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 23, 2015
The trade from the Astros to the Athletics is official. From one clubhouse to the other #WalkofTrade ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/rcE2nQTpY4— Taylor Rhoades (@T_Rhoades1) July 23, 2015
A's players new and old
Can't thank the @astros enough for the opportunity, it's time to start a new chapter with the @Athletics!— Jacob Nottingham (@JayNott) July 23, 2015
.@SVogt1229 on Kazmir deal: "It's never fun to watch a friend and teammate get traded. ... It's part of the game and it sucks." #Athletics— Ron Kroichick (@ronkroichick) July 23, 2015
Sad to see him go. But wish nothing but the best for @scottkazmir19. Great teammate and great guy. Enjoy home buddy. #ThrowMeAllFastballs— Josh Reddick (@RealJoshReddick) July 23, 2015