The Angels have acquired 25-year old lefty starting pitcher Scott Kazmir from the Rays for 21-year old lefty pitcher Alexander Torres, 21-year old lefty swinging 1B/3B Matthew Sweeney and a player to be named later. Kazmir pitched in 20 games (all starts) for the Rays this season and he was 8-7 with a 5.92 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. But, in his last three starts he has looked like the old Scott Kazmir as he is 2-0 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. In those starts his velocity appears to have returned all the way and he has 21 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings. Kazmir has pitched in 145 games (144 starts) in his major league career and he is 55-44 with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. This was a good move by the Angels as Kazmir reunites with his old pitching coach Mike Butcher who will likely fix some more things with him.
But, Kazmir didn’t come too cheap as Sweeney and Torres are solid prospects. Sweeney was the #18 prospect in the Angels’ system coming into this season according to Baseball America. Sweeney played in 62 games in the minors this season and he was 67 for 226 (.296 avg, .884 OPS) with 42 runs scored, 9 homers and 44 RBIs. He has a nice upside. Alexander Torres was the #24 rated prospect in the Angels’ system coming into this season according to Baseball America. Torres pitched in 26 games (24 starts) in the minors so far this season and he is 13-4 with a 2.75 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. He has only allowed 116 hits in 147 1/3 innings this season while whiffing 149. But, he has to work on his control as he has walked 80 batters this season. Torres also has a nice upside. The player to be named later is also expected to be a decent prospect. Still, the Angels are playing to win now so this was a good trade for them. Plus, Kazmir is only 25 years old and he’s under contract for a few more years.