An Overview Of The Zimmermann Deal For The Tigers
The Detroit Tigers added an arm to their struggling rotation this week as they signed starter Jordan Zimmermann to a five year deal worth $110 million. The 2015 season wasn’t one that the Tigers wish to soon repeat and new General Manager Al Avila is proving that with the moves he has made so far this offseason.
The 29 year old right-hander will be the number two starter in the Tigers’ rotation, with Veteran RHP Justin Verlander in the number one spot and RHP Anibal Sanchez behind him in the three spot. While the fourth looks like it will be going to RHP Mike Pelfrey who was just signed by Detroit this past week as well and the fifth spot is technically still up for grabs and that leaves with two choices for the Tigers either make another move for an additional starter or let the pitchers that are currently on the roster battle it out for the remainder positions.
With all of the possible free agents available, many wonder why the Tigers would choose Zimmermann? While he has had success in his career so far, the 2015 season was a struggle for the righty, especially with his fastball. He allowed 24 homeruns on the season, 18 off of his fastball; to compare that’s the same amount of homeruns he allowed in 2013 and 2014 combined. He had just a 13-10 record with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP, his worst Major League season of his career.
It is possible that Zimmermann can rebound this year and bring the Tigers a solid starter in their rotation. To do so he will have to find his command with the fastball, something that is definitely manageable with a pitcher of that caliber.
Zimmermann’s deal with the Tigers will pay him $18 million in 2016 and 2017, $24 million in 2018 and $25 million in 2019 and 2020. Although there have been questions and skepticism regarding velocity with Zimmerman, his resume speaks for itself. He’s a two-time National League All-Star and even has a no-hitter to add his accolades which was in his final start in 2014.
Zimmermann was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the second round of the 2007 MLB Draft with the 67th pick overall while he was playing at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point.