"Zambrano for Kazmir"
There are no conclusions to be drawn yet, but that phrase may yet induce instantaneous apoplexy in Mets fans everywhere. Kazmir, in a brief time in the AL, has baffled the Red Sox two of his three starts against them. He’s raw, wild at times, but also overpowering with an old-school rising fastball, a great changeup, from the left side of the mound to boot. Now he just needs to get it under control, no small feat we know. He’s an AL East menace-in-waiting — the kind of guy that could help the Devil Rays act the spoiler late in the season during the onslaught of in-division games. That makes a September tussle against Tampa not a walkover or padding on the record but a real concern. The rest of division should not get overconfident.
As for the backstory of his move to Tampa, well, Jeff Wilpon and his meddling has cost the Mets the chance to watch a prodigious young pitcher develop under the tutelage of one of the smartest, most clever hurlers in history in Pedro Martinez. An industrious, forward-thinking front office would under very rare circumstances barter the upside of Kazmir and the future of the organization for the downside of someone like Victor Zambrano, and the Mets were nowhere near those circumstances last season when they pulled the trigger. The trade, made by a team that almost everyone knew was going nowhere, may well become an enormous embarrassment for the Mets and their legion of fans, one of the biggest in decades. On the other hand, Devil Rays fans, however few there are, owe great thanks to their own front office, and now have something magical to look forward to this season: their own developing Shangri-La under the (spring) and summer moon.