The Houston Astros have acquired left-handed pitcher Scott Kazmir from the Oakland A's for right-handed pitcher Daniel Mengden and catcher Jacob Nottingham, both A-ball prospects. Kazmir, a one-time Mets prospect notoriously traded for Victor Zambrano at the trade deadline in 2004, was 5-5 with a 2.38 ERA for the A's in 18 starts this season. The 31-year-old is the first impact player to be traded in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline, and his departure from Oakland might signal that the A's are fully prepared to sell.
For the Mets, this point is important because the team has been reported to be interested in utilityman Ben Zobrist. If the A's are now prepared to commit to selling fully before the trade deadline, perhaps Zobrist could be available at a price even the Mets can afford. Though as has been rumored, the Mets continue to balk at adding Zobrist's $2-3 million in remaining 2015 salary, which remains unfathomable for a team that plays in the country's largest media market.