Tuesday marks the five-year anniversary of the A's signing Scott Kazmir to a two-year, $22 million free agent contract.
Kazmir, who was 29 at the time, had already made two All-Star Game appearances from his years in Tampa Bay, and the left-hander did not disappoint in Oakland. In his first season with the A's, Kazmir went 15-9 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 32 starts, earning his third career All-Star selection.
Kazmir pitched even better in 2015, going 5-5 with a 2.38 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in his first 18 starts. However, the A's fell out of playoff contention and traded Kazmir to the Astros for Daniel Mengden and Jacob Nottingham.
Kazmir has always had talent. He started his career with the Rays, maintaining an ERA under four in each of his first four full seasons. But he struggled as a member of the Angels from 2009 to 2011, and it appeared his big league career might be over.
In 2012, with no Major League offers, Kazmir signed with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League as he tried to regain his form. The Cleveland Indians signed him to a minor-league deal the following year and Kazmir eventually found his way back to the Majors, going 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA in 2013 and finishing third in AL Comeback Player of the Year voting.
Kazmir took it to another level in Oakland, finishing his A's stint at 20-14 with a 3.12 ERA and 1.13 WHIP, more than living up to his contract.
As we spin it forward to this offseason, the A's are once again looking for starting pitching in free agency. Billy Beane and company have had some success with reclamation projects beyond Kazmir -- just look at Edwin Jackson last season. We'll see if the A's can work their magic one more time.