Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Jordan Zimmermann bounce-back is vital for franchise’s long-term outlook

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DETROIT, MI - JULY 2: Starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann #27 of the Detroit Tigers and Michael Fulmer #32 of the Detroit Tigers watch from the dugout during the ninth inning of the Tigers 11-8 loss to the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park on July 2, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JULY 2: Starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann #27 of the Detroit Tigers and Michael Fulmer #32 of the Detroit Tigers watch from the dugout during the ninth inning of the Tigers 11-8 loss to the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park on July 2, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 07: Jordan Zimmermann #27 of the Detroit Tigers reacts after giving up a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during interleague play at PNC Park on August 7, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The contract

Speaking of Washington, Zimmermann was excellent in his time with the National League East franchise.

From 2011 to 2015, his fWAR routinely topped the 3.0 mark, including the 2014 season when he notched a 5.3 stat in the category.

During each year the same span, the starter posted a sub-4.00 (and in some cases sub-3.00) mark in all four prevention categories—ERA, FIP, xFIP and SIERA.

Based on this production, Zimmermann’s five year, $110 million dollar contract (per Spotrac) looked more than reasonable from a value standpoint.

However, it hasn’t exactly worked out in Detroit.

Now, Zimmermann has gone from the front-line starter who seemed to be the long-term replacement for Max Scherzer and David Price on a contending club, to a struggling starter on a rebuilding team.

The retooling Detroit Tigers are now left with a pitcher who has—according to Spotrac—three years and $74 million left on his deal.

What’s more, the same publication states that the 31-year-old has a full no-trade clause through 2018. During the 2019 and 2020 campaigns, it shifts to a “10 team trade approval list.”

From a long-term standpoint, moving Zimmermann’s contract would certainly help the Tigers.

Deals involving players with full no-trade protection certainly aren’t unheard of, but if Detroit wants to flip Zimmermann, they’ll need to rehab his trade value first.

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