Scott Kazmir hasn’t pitched since 2017, but the former New York Mets prospect is attempting to make a comeback.
According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Scott Kazmir, 36, wants to play again. He last appeared in the major leagues in 2016, and in the minor leagues in 2017, before various injuries became too much to pitch through.
But almost accidentally, Topkin writes, Kazmir found his way back into baseball. During last season’s All-Star break, as Kazmir played catch with former teammate Kendall Graveman, realizing that his arm felt great.
“I was like, ‘All right, well, let’s see where this takes me,’” Kazmir said. “I couldn’t ignore it. So I just kept going.”
Kazmir began a throwing program and has reportedly increased his velocity from between 86 and 88 mph to near 91. In his career, when healthy, Kazmir posted average velocities in the mid-to-high 90s.
“He has already thrown privately for one team (which he declined to identify) and has heard from several others,” Topkin reports. “He may do a group workout in hopes of getting signed in time to report to camp somewhere next month, and he is open to a minor-league deal.”
The elephant in the room is that the Mets could use another left-handed reliever. Behind Justin Wilson, whose injury history and heavy usage last season make him a constant question mark, the next best option is probably journeyman Chasen Shreve or Daniel Zamora, who has shown flashes of competence but remains far from proven.
It’s unclear if the Mets will have any interest in bringing Kazmir back into the fold, but they would be wise to at least give him a look. Besides the addition of a competent, experienced lefthander, bringing Kazmir back to Queens would also represent one of the more ridiculous full-circle experiences in Mets history.
“It just feels good to get back on the mound,” Kazmir said. “It feels like it’s been forever.”
For Mets fans, it has been. So if Kazmir can still pitch, the Mets should look into signing him. You can never go wrong with a lefty reliever. Plus, in a pinch, the Mets could always trade him for Victor Zambrano.