As initially reported by Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to a three-year contract with starting pitcher Scott Kazmir, worth $48 million total. CBS’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal has a player option out of the contract after just one season, meaning that Kazmir could be back in the free agent market as soon as next November.
Kazmir’s contract situation has been in constant flux over the last few seasons. After being released by the Los Angeles Angels in the middle of the 2011 season, Kazmir received a 1-year, $1 million contract from the Cleveland Indians nearly a year-and-a-half later. After Kazmir pitched well for the Indians in the 2013 season, the Oakland A’s then signed Kazmir to a two-year, $22 million contract, which became an increasingly valuable trade chip throughout the 2015 season. At this July’s Trade Deadline, Kazmir was sent to the Houston Astros for their playoff run in exchange for prospects.
The contract continues a series of surprisingly frugal moves by the Dodgers, who have been granted significant financial resources by their ownership. Although the Dodgers still held the highest 2016 payroll in the majors — even before signing Kazmir — the margin between the Dodgers and second-place is just a handful of millions, instead of the gigantic $80 million gap that was true for the 2015 season.