The Tigers are in talks with free agent starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Sources tell Morosi and Ken Rosenthal that talks have become serious. The Dodgers and Cubs have also been tied to Zimmermann.
MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes rated Zimmermann as the seventh best free agent. Dierkes anticipates a six-year, $126MM contract for him. MLBTR’s Jeff Todd profiled Zimmermann in more detail earlier this offseason. A reliable righty, Zimmermann’s stock fell slightly this season due to a decline in his strike out and whiff rates from 2014. He also reverted to a league average HR/FB ratio, leading to a higher-than-normal 3.66 ERA.
The 29-year-old right-hander (30 in May), has a career 3.32 ERA with 7.43 K/9 and 1.82 BB/9 in over 1,000 innings. His most recent campaign for the Nationals included similar numbers in 201 innings with the aforementioned regression in home run rate.
Detroit, once possessed of an elite rotation, has lost Max Scherzer and David Price in recent seasons. Additionally, Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez have become unreliable due to injuries and performance decline. A possible addition of Zimmermann could serve to provide stability to the rotation.
Zimmermann rejected a qualifying offer from the Nationals, so any signing team would have to surrender a draft pick. The Tigers select ninth overall – a protected pick – so they would surrender their second pick.