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Scott Kazmir and the domino effect

The first few dominos have fallen; what impact does this have on Kazmir?

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The first of the dominos have fallen: David Price, Jordan Zimmerman, Zack Greinke, and Jeff Samardzija. The contracts are big and the years are long. While many of the top arms have been taken off the board, one potential Astros target still remains available: Scott Kazmir. In light of recent deals, what are the Astros likely to have to pay the lefty?

The first contracts given out set the tone for the rest of free agency. Kazmir isn't going to get Greinke or Price money, obviously. If Price and Greinke are top tier arms, Kazmir would likely qualify as a second tier arm along with Samardzija and Zimmerman. Both of whom got paid.

Jeff Samardzija (San Francisco Giants) 5-years/$90M
Jordan Zimmerman (Detroit Tigers) 5-years/$110M

There are some signs that Kazmir should not get as much money: he is the oldest of the group at 31 (Zimmerman is 29, while Samardzija is 30), making a deal for four years a possibility as opposed to the five years both Zimmerman and Samardzija received. Kazmir isn't quite as durable as the other two (Kazmir has never reached the 200 innings plateau in his career) and does have an injury history. Kazmir also has intrinsic links to Houston.

There are, however, some factors which make Kazmir dearer: as he was traded to the Astros during last season he will not force the team that signs him to surrender their first round draft pick. He is also coming off a decent year (Samardzija allowed the most runs and hits in the American League last season, yet still got paid) and is projected for a decent 3.70 ERA next season.

Kazmir, therefore, finds himself in the same area as his fellow second tier pitchers. The former reasons lower his price for the Astros, while the latter reasons increase it a little. All in all, he is likely to receive similar money to both Zimmerman and Samardzija. To make an educated guess, if the Astros do indeed want Kazmir, they would probably have to pay him something in the region of 4-years, $75 million.

I firmly stand against the Astros making a move for a free-agent for reasons I've already outlined. Kazmir at the said price wouldn't be the end of the world but it would still a hinderance in the latter years of the deal. Would the Astros even be much stronger with him? Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh form a formidable one-two punch. Lance McCullers is growing into a great pitcher.

Beyond that the Astros have lots of depth: Scott Feldman, Mike Fiers Brett Oberholtzer, Brad Peacock, Dan Straily, and Vincent Velasquez as well as a plethora of young talent in the minor leagues. Is there really a need for Kazmir? I personally don't think so. The money is far from awful, but far from ideal.

Stick to the process.