Bad Trades: Scott Kazmir

Victor Zambrano and Scott Kazmir
Tampa Bay Devil Rays pitcher Victor Zambrano and New York Mets pitching prospect Scott Kazmir. (Getty)

Are the Mets famous for trading unproven young talent for fading superstars? Or does management order the General Manager give up a star player just because he has hit his prime and wants to unload a big contract and build for the future? See how some teams and players have fared from some the most lopsided trades in baseball history.

Victor Zambrano for Scott Kazmir

July 30, 2004
The Mets trade left-handed pitcher prospect Scott Kazmir and minor leaguer Jose Diaz to Tampa Bay for right handed pitchers Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato.

Victor Zambrano had a hard time winning over Mets fans, many of whom believe New York gave up too much in the deal with Tampa Bay. He missed the final six weeks of the 2004 season with elbow and ankle problems. Zambrano was injured again and missed the rest of the 2006 season after tearing a tendon in his pitching elbow.

Zambrano was 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in five starts in 2006 and was seen holding his arm while running off the mound into the dugout. In three seasons with the Mets, Zambrano was 10-14 with a 4.89 ERA in 35 Games started. He was granted free agency on December 12, 2006.

Since then he has been with Baltimore, Toronto and Colorado.

Bartolome Fortunato went under season-ending Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Fortunato missed the entire 2005 season and returned for the 2006 season;  but surrendered nine runs in three innings for a 27.00 ERA.

He actually lucked out to win a game in 2006. The Mets released in May of 2006 and picked up by the San Francisco Giants in 2007 and released in 2008.

Following the 2016 season, Scott Kazmir has started 298 games, collecting an overall record of 108-96. Kazmir earned $17,666,667 pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016 going 10-6.

Kazmir led the American League in K’s in the 2007.

Kazmir started the 2006 season opener April 3 at Baltimore. At 22 years, 2 months and 10 days Kazmir was the youngest opening day starter since Dwight Gooden with the Mets in 1986. He lost the decision after 6 ER in 4 IP, but has been extremely impressive since with an overall 10-8 record with 163 strikeouts and a 3.24 ERA in 144.2 innings pitched.

Kazmir was elected by the players to appear in the 2006 MLB All-Star Game, his first all-star appearance. Kazmir threw a perfect sixth inning, retiring Freddy Sanchez, Carlos Beltran, and Albert Pujols.

There is speculation that the move may have led to the demotion of then-General Manager Jim Duquette within the organization. A special thanks to Rick Peterson.

Jose Diaz is waiting tables in the Dominican Republic.

About the Author

Lifetime Met fan who hates his parents for making him become a Mets fan as a child. No amount of therapy has helped and cannot switch teams now. Quitting smoking was easier. What a joke this organization really is, how much pain and suffering it has brought us through the years. Bad enough to be in Big Apple with Yankees fans.

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