The Athletics have traded starting pitcher Scott Kazmir to the Astros for prospects Daniel Mengden and Jacob Nottingham.
Kazmir, a three-time All-Star and Houston native, posted a 2.38 ERA with a 5–5 record and 101 strikeouts in 18 starts in his second season with the Athletics. The 11-year veteran went 15–9 with a 3.55 ERA and 164 strikeouts in 190 1/3 innings last year for Oakland, the first of a two-year, $20 million deal he signed with the team. Set to be a free agent after this season, Kazmir is now exempt from receiving a qualifying offer in the off-season as a result of being traded, which means that any team that signs him will not have to give up a draft pick in exchange.
In return for Kazmir, the Astros will send pitcher Daniel Mengden and catcher Jacob Nottingham to Oakland. Mengden, a 22-year-old righthander, was a fourth-round draft pick in 2014, and has a 5.26 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings over 10 games and eight starts this season in A ball. Nottingham, 20, is a '13 sixth-round pick who has hit .326/.383/.558 with 14 home runs and 60 RBIs in 329 plate appearances across two levels of A ball this year.
Kazmir was slated to start for the A's Thursday in their series finale against the Blue Jays. He will be replaced on the active roster and on the mound by Arnold Leon. According to ESPN's Buster Olney and the New York Post's Joel Sherman, Toronto was also trying to acquire Kazmir.
- Erin Flynn