Kazmir's contract details released; A's payroll to increase

Kazmir's contract details released; A's payroll to increase
January 20, 2014, 4:00 pm
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According to MLBTradeRumors.com, Scott Kazmir's contract with the A's includes a $4 million signing bonus, $7 million in 2014 and $11 million in 2015. (USATSI)

Programming note: Get up to date on all the latest offseason A’s news on SportsNet Central tonight and every night at 6, 10:30 p.m. and midnight

A little Oakland A’s news to give you a breather from the NFL playoff madness:

Tim Dierkes of mlbtraderumors.com provided a breakdown of Scott Kazmir’s two-year, $22 million contract. The left-hander will earn $7 million in base salary in 2014 and $11 million in 2015, with a $4 million signing bonus. A clause in the contract gives Kazmir an extra $500,000 if the A’s trade him.

Let’s assume that signing bonus gets spread evenly over the two years of the deal. That means Kazmir will earn $9 million this upcoming season. And for what it’s worth, that would make Kazmir the third-highest paid Athletic on the 2014 payroll, behind left fielder Yoenis Cespedes ($10.5 million) and closer Jim Johnson ($10 million).

Believe it or not, Oakland’s pitchers and catchers report in just 3 ½ weeks. Count Kazmir among the players who will create the most buzz early in camp. It goes without saying he’s a huge addition to an A’s starting rotation that is coping with the loss of Bartolo Colon, who signed a two-year deal with the New York Mets.

Each different stage of spring training is greeted with anticipation when it comes to a high-profile pitcher – the first time he takes the mound to throw a bullpen session; the first time he throws live batting practice, his first exhibition outing, etc. … Each of Kazmir’s “firsts” will draw lots of attention.

According to the Cot’s Baseball Contracts website, the A’s currently have $70,235,000 committed to their 2014 payroll. That number will grow because the team is still negotiating with arbitration-eligible Josh Reddick. The right fielder reportedly asked for $3.25 million while the team offered $2 million, so they’ll continue working to find a satisfactory middle ground.

The A’s also must renew the one-year contracts for numerous players who are not yet eligible for arbitration (think Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, Ryan Cook and many others with similar or less service time). Those players will be paid in the neighborhood of the $500,000 minimum salary, but that will also add a significant chunk to the payroll.

Cot’s Baseball Contracts estimated the A’s 2013 opening day payroll at $61,964,500, so this year’s opening day figure is shaping up to be significantly higher.