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The Atlanta Braves picked up Scott Kazmir in the offseason in a five-player deal that sent Matt Kemp and the $43 million remaining on his contract to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He was expected to be the team’s fifth starter this year. That apparently won’t be the case as the Braves have released the 34-year-old three-time All-Star, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and MLB.com.
The Braves still owe Kazmir the $16 million remaining on his deal.
Kazmir, who missed all of 2017 with multiple injuries, left a Saturday spring training game with arm fatigue according Braves manager Brian Snitker.
Despite the apparent physical problems, Kazmir, unaware of his imminent release, told reporters after the game that he expected to be ready for an April 10 start, which would be the first day Atlanta would need a fifth starter, the Journal-Constitution reports.
It wasn’t until later Saturday that reports of his release surfaced.
Kazmir’s fastball velocity has dipped below 88 mph this spring and was worse on Saturday before he was pulled, according to the Journal-Constitution.
Kazmir told reporters he planned poorly and threw a 90-100 pitch bullpen session on Wednesday, not realizing that he would be pitching in a spring training game on Saturday.
“I kind of blew it out my last bullpen session Wednesday,” Kazmir said. “Honestly didn’t know when I was going to pitch again until yesterday. That was my fault. Should’ve assumed, just didn’t know for sure. Just pretty tired out there.”
Instead of placing Kazmir on the disabled list or sending him to the minors, which would have required his consent, the Braves apparently decided they had seen enough of him to let him go and eat the $16 million they owe him.
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