Oakland Athletics Trade Scott Kazmir for Young Talent


This time of the year has arrived for the Oakland Athletics right on schedule. Billy Beane has made a huge trade deal that is polarizing to say the least. The deal involves a trade of Scott Kazmir to the Houston Astros for RHP Daniel Mengden and C Jacob Nottingham.

Kazmir was a key role in the A’s playoff appearance last season. Therefore, it’s easy to understand why Athletics’ fans might be upset from the trade. Aside from their ace, Sonny Gray, Kazmir is a big name draw that has brought fans to Oakland’s ballpark. If a good pitcher is starting, you can count on a sizable home crowd to be in attendance with the hopes of watching a gem.

Furthermore, it’s necessary to thank Scott Kazmir for all of the great performances he gave to the Oakland Athletics. He’s a player who fit the team’s “Green Collar Baseball” motto as good as anybody. He was one of the A’s main studs on the mound before Gray developed into a dominating starter himself. We are all lucky so have seen a pitcher as good as him over the years.

However, there’s a scary part to this deal. The Houston Astros already have an ace pitcher, so the addition of Kazmir to the rotation could make the Astros a formidable team down the stretch this season. Kazmir is getting up there in age, so this trade is a short term perk for Houston. On the other hand, the A’s got two incredibly talented young ballplayers who could develop into key contributors for years to come.

First, let’s take a look at RHP Daniel Mengden. He’s a 22 year-old pitcher who has been performing quite well for the Class A Advanced club, the Lancaster JetHawks. According to milb.com, Mengden has six wins and two losses this season with an ERA of 3.46. Although he hasn’t seen any major league action, Mengden could soon be a featured pitcher in the A’s rotation.

Last year, Billy Beane made some horrible moves in getting 30 year-old players. Why the heck did he do that? Beane has a stellar track record of utilizing the Athletics’ young farm system to perfection. Therefore, it’s pleasing to see that Beane got two promising young players that could develop into MLB starters. Some of Oakland’s pitchers have been inconsistent, so it was a smart move to acquire a young pitcher who could push the team forward.

Even more importantly, Kazmir’s salary was certainly a big one. His departure frees up a ton of money for the Athletics’ to keep young stars such as Sonny Gray and Billy Burns for the future.

Now it’s time to take a look at the organization’s newest catcher, Jacob Nottingham. Without a doubt, this is the most interesting part of the Kazmir trade. Nottingham is only 20 years-old, and he has been absolutely stellar in his minor league play. In 2015 so far, he has a .326 batting average, 14 home runs, and 60 RBIs. What’s the magic word I used in a recent article that’s key to Oakland’s success? Power

Nottingham may be a young gun, but he can surely swing the bat. Honestly, this trade could not be more exiting for fans of the Oakland Athletics. Yes, we lost Kazmir, but he costs too much and gets to play in his hometown of Houston. Plus, we got a developing catcher who could become a fan favorite if he graduates from the minors to join our beloved A’s.

What does all of this mean for Oakland’s All-Star catcher, Stephen Vogt? On the surface, the acquisition of a new catcher could make some fans fear for Vogt’s tenure, but it’s actually good new for him as well.

Vogt is a 30 year-old catcher, and a guy’s legs don’t last forever in the constant crouch at home plate. The point is that Nottingham could be the long-term solution at the catcher position for Oakland, and that allows long-term tenure for Stephen Vogt on the A’s.

As we all know, Vogt is a highly effective designation hitter and first basemen. Once Nottingham gets promoted to the majors, he could be the featured catcher while Vogt would be an exclusive DH and sometimes first basemen. Yeah, Oakland has Billy Butler right now, but there is no way the team will keep him much longer. To be brutally honest, Butler has been a bum this season, he’s not a good fielder, and he costs much more than he’s worth. Therefore, Oakland should cut Butler loose.

More from Oakland Athletics

Another first basemen for the A’s, Ike Davis, has been performing quite well. Davis asserted his worth by driving in the game-winning run in an extra innings win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday. Therefore, the A’s will still have depth at first base even with the potential loss of Billy Butler.

Is there a single fan of the Oakland Athletics who doesn’t love Stephen Vogt? There better not be. If Nottingham turns out to be a star catcher for the A’s, it would be great if Oakland kept Vogt around for a very long time. As Vogt gets older, he will still make a fantastic DH or first basemen. He could become Oakland’s version of David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox.

Vogt is a productive hitter and a great teammate. The A’s better keep him around forever despite all of their aggressive personnel moves.

Next: The Oakland Athletics' Power Finally Arrived