"I would love to," Kazmir said. "The staff, all the way up the organization, it's a first-class organization. The teammates that I have, it's just great chemistry. I love coming to the park. I would love to come back, for sure."
Kazmir turned in his last start of the regular season on Saturday with 11 strikeouts in six strong innings in a 5-1 victory over Minnesota. After pitching for the Sugar Land Skeeters in independent ball last season, Kazmir finished this year 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 158 innings for the Indians, who signed him to a Minor League contract in December.
With free agency looming, Kazmir said Cleveland's willingness to give him the opportunity to pitch in the big leagues again means a lot to him.
"It sure does," said Kazmir, who was released by the Angels in 2011. "Last year, when I couldn't get much attention from any other teams, this was the team that stepped up and gave me a chance."
Cleveland stuck with Kazmir through his early ups and downs, which included going 3-4 with a 5.89 ERA and a .302 opponents' batting average in his first 11 starts. Dating back to that point on June 15, Kazmir has gone 7-5 with a 3.06 ERA and a .239 average against.
"We were pretty realistic about it," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "To expect him to go through the whole year without some hiccups or bumps in the road, that's unrealistic. I think he's managed it unbelievably well. I think our medical staff has done a great job."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.