Scott Kazmir's time with the Oakland Athletics is rumored to be nearing an end, and he could draw the Toronto Blue Jays' interest.
Kazmir may be taking the mound for the final time for the A's as he tries to continue his recent dominance Thursday night against the Blue Jays.
After winning a career-high 15 games in his first season with Oakland in 2014, Kazmir (5-5) is among the AL leaders with a 2.38 ERA this year. However, he's scheduled to become a free agent this winter, and with the A's (44-52) having plenty of teams to pass in the playoff chase, they are reportedly considering trading him before the July 31 deadline.
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The left-hander's value is rising as he's 3-1 with a 1.35 ERA and 0.79 WHIP over his last seven starts. His 1.36 ERA at home is second-best in baseball, going 4-2 in 10 starts, after yielding one run in 8 1-3 innings of Saturday's 3-2 win in 10 against Minnesota.
"You want him pitching for you every fifth day," catcher Stephen Vogt said. "We love Scott and what he's done for us to this point this year is pretty phenomenal. Our entire rotation, really, but he's been some kind of good."
Kazmir has had quality starts in his last four matchups with Toronto and won the last one, yielding a run and three hits with eight strikeouts in seven innings of a 5-1 victory July 5, 2014.
The Blue Jays (48-48), three games behind the Twins for a wild-card spot, could potentially be in the market for Kazmir as they have one of the league's worst rotations with a 4.31 ERA.
They've balanced that out as the highest-scoring team in baseball with an average of 5.32 runs - their best since a franchise-record 5.52 in 2003 - and they rank second with 123 homers.
R.A. Dickey (3-10, 4.70), however, hasn't been afforded that luxury as his 3.88 runs of support per game is the lowest in the rotation. The right-handed knuckleballer has been backed by two runs or fewer in 11 of 19 starts, including each of the past five while he's gone 0-4 with a 3.98 ERA.
"It's been a peculiar year in that regard," said Dickey, who allowed one run in six innings while not getting the decision in a 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday.
He hasn't lost five straight decisions since an eight-start stretch in 2011 with the New York Mets.
Dickey is 0-3 with a 2.92 ERA in seven games - five starts - at Oakland. His scheduled start was pushed up a day after Drew Hutchison fell ill.
The A's have won five of six over the Blue Jays after Ike Davis' pinch-hit, walkoff single was upheld by video review following a close play at first in Wednesday's 4-3, 10-inning victory.
"It's awkward. That's a tough position to be in. The whole time we were thinking, 'If they turn this over we're going to look like a bunch of idiots out here (celebrating),'" said Josh Reddick, who scored the winning run. "... It felt like the longest replay we've had all year."
Vogt is batting .371 in his last 10 games against Toronto after getting two hits and an RBI on Wednesday.
Josh Donaldson has doubled on two of his four hits while adding two RBIs in his first two games back in Oakland after the A's traded him in the offseason.
The All-Star third baseman is 3 for 6 with a homer off Kazmir.