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The Daily Bernie, 7/9/15: Oakland A's need not worry about Kazmir

Scott Kazmir's most recent injury shouldn't worry the A's too much, and Alex Gordon of the Royals could be down a long time, among other news.

Kaz should be fine. Really.
Kaz should be fine. Really.
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to The Daily Bernie! It's the best dance in the game, so let's get rolling once more!

  • A's LHP Scott Kazmir, pulled from Wednesday night's start after only three innings due to left triceps tightness, is not concerned at all about the injury, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Kazmir struggled with command a little bit, and experienced a dip in velocity, but seems very confident he will be okay to throw in his next start. He will have plenty of time to rest, with the All-Star break right around the corner. Per Ken Rosenthal, scouts from at least six different teams (TOR, HOU, KC, DET, WAS, PIT) were in attendance Wednesday night, presumably watching either Kazmir, Ben Zobrist, Tyler Clippard, or a combination of the three. The only real new name on this list that has not been rumored before is Detroit, but the Tigers don't seem to have a deep enough farm to bid for Kazmir or Zobrist.
  • The Kansas City Royals could be without star left fielder Alex Gordon "for months", per Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. This would make Ben Zobrist an even more attractive piece for Kansas City, who had already shown strong interest in him. He could slide into left field, while also backing up the infield, and if Gordon were to return this season, Ben could take over for Omar Infante at second base or Alex Rios in right field. Other possible options could be Will Venable, Marlon Byrd, or Josh Reddick, though it remains to be seen if the A's would move Reddick.
  • Evan Scribner's recent troubles have been well-documented, and his time with the team - and perhaps the organization - could be coming to an end, reports Slusser. Scribner took the loss on Wednesday, giving up a pair of home runs to Mark Teixeira and three runs total over 2 1/3 innings. That made it thirteen earned runs over his last thirteen innings dating back to June 7th, having given up a whopping eight (!!!) home runs in that span. Meanwhile, after struggling with Oakland to start 2015, Dan Otero has posted a 1.08 ERA (2.38 FIP) with only one unintentional walk over 16 2/3 innings for Triple-A Nashville. Scribner, however, is out of options, and would have to be designated for assignment and potentially lost.
  • Matt Harrison of the Texas Rangers has finally completed his comeback. The lefty, returning from his third back surgery, hadn't pitched in nearly fourteen months. He had a bad second inning, allowing five runs with two outs, and overall went four-plus allowing six runs on six hits, three walks, and one strikeout in the loss to the Diamondbacks. However, Harrison deserves a tip of the hat just for fighting all the way back to the big leagues after many had deemed his career over.
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates, one of the best teams in the National League (or all of baseball, even), are surging. They have won five straight and eight of their last ten, including sweeps of the Padres and Tigers. Their record is now 50-34, third best in baseball but still somehow four and a half games worse than the dominant St. Louis Cardinals. This is despite poor performances from Pedro Alvarez, Corey Hart, Antonio Bastardo, and Jeff Locke. The Pirates could perhaps be one big move away from giving the Cardinals a run for their money. Maybe a move such as...

Bernie's Daily Deal: Scott Kazmir and Tyler Clippard to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Alen Hanson and Elias Diaz OR Willy Garcia

Obviously, Kazmir trade ideas are a bit difficult right now, with the injury and everything. However, if the injury is as minor as everyone has said, his value should not be too diminished. The Pirates could really use an upgrade over Jeff Locke in their rotation, especially if they plan on catching up to the Cardinals. Kazmir would be a nice piece for them, and Clippard would help sweeten the deal by adding depth to their bullpen.

In return, the A's would receive infielder Alen Hanson and either catcher Elias Diaz or outfielder Willy Garcia. Hanson, 22, is a switch-hitting middle infielder with good speed (172 career minor league SBs). He has a solid glove, is a good contact hitter, and has sneaky pop. However, he does also have some makeup issues. Hanson is in Triple-A and could likely contribute right away, likely at second base (or displacing Marcus Semien at shortstop). Diaz is a 24 year-old right-handed catcher, also in Triple-A. He hasn't quite put it all together at the plate, but is an above average defender, and could turn out to be a solid back-up (three catchers, anyone?). Garcia is a 22 year-old right-handed high-upside outfielder who was recently promoted to Triple-A. Garcia, however, has big plate discipline concerns, as his highest minor league walk rate since Rookie ball is 6.4%, and his lowest strikeout rate since Rookie ball is 22.9% (2015, between Double-A and Triple-A). All three prospects would likely be MLB-ready for the start of the 2016 season, and don't seem to have long-term spots in Pittsburgh.

That's all for today. Today's game is at 10:05 A.M. PST, as the A's look to win the rubbermatch of the series at New York. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until tomorrow - lean on, A's fans!