Houston Astros acquire starter Scott Kazmir from Oakland Athletics

Houston sends minor leaguers Mengden and Nottingham to Oakland

HOUSTON - The Astros didn't have to look far in order to acquire some trade deadline help as Houston landed starting pitcher Scott Kazmir from division rival Oakland.

The Astros sent two minor leaguers, right-handed pitcher Daniel Mengden and catcher Jacob Nottingham, to the A's in exchange for the 31-year-old left-hander.

The team said Kazmir will join the club Friday in Kansas City. The Houston-area native is 5-5 with a 2.38 ERA in 18 starts for the A's this season.

With Kazmir's addition, the 'Stros now have two of the top five leaders in ERA in the American League this season. Dallas Keuchel leads the league with a 2.12 ERA, while Kazmir ranks fifth.

"Scott Kazmir is one of the best pitchers in the American League and strengthens our rotation," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement. "His addition gives the Astros a better chance of reaching and succeeding in the postseason. It has been a while since the Astros have been relevant late in the summer and winning now is a priority."

Houston sits two games out of first place in the AL West heading into Thursday night's action.

"He's effective overall against both righties and lefties," Luhnow said.

Kazmir attended Cy Falls High School before being drafted by the Mets with the 15th overall pick in the 2002 draft. The 11-year veteran and three-time All-Star has a career 96-84 record with a 3.95 ERA while pitching for Tampa Bay, the Los Angeles Angels, Cleveland and Oakland.

Kazmir also pitched for the Sugar Land Skeeters during the 2012 season.

Luhnow said Thursday afternoon the team may not be finished before the July 31 trade deadline.

"If there's a trade that makes sense, either a pitcher or a hitter, then we're going to pursue it," said Luhnow.

Mengden and Nottingham had been playing for Class A Advanced Lancaster after beginning the season at Class A Quad Cities. Mengden was a fourth-round selection in the 2014 draft, while Nottingham was taken in the sixth round of the 2013 draft.

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