Boston Red Sox Will Pursue Jordan Zimmermann
The Boston Red Sox are set to pursue former Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann once the opening bell sounds on free agency, according to several sources from within the organization.
Zimmermann, 29, was a two-time All-Star in his seven seasons in D.C. winning 70 games. He has a career ERA of 3.32 and had himself another solid season ahead of his big payday this winter. In 2015, Zimmermann went 13-10 with a 3.62 ERA and 164 strikeouts.
Over the last four seasons, Zimmermann has started at least 32 games and has logged at least 195 innings in each season. He has solidified himself as one of the most consistent starters in baseball. Starting in 2012, his records were 12-8 (2.94 ERA), 19-9 (3.25 ERA), 14-5 (2.66 ERA) and then of course 13-10 (3.62 ERA) this past season.
Jordan Zimmermann is a well-known tough-guy. Much like Curt Schilling during the 2004 ALCS, it will take a lot to keep Zim off the bump on any given day. Dating back to his days at the University of Wisconsin, Zimmermann pitched in the snow with short sleeves, and even took the hill with a broken jaw wired-shut. Zimmermann overcame Tommy John surgery in 2009 and has not looked back.
Jordan Zimmermann has a devastating slider, in fact, he has one of the best in all of baseball by a right-handed starting pitcher. He also relies primarily on his four-seam fastball (averages 93 mph) while mixing in a nice curve and circle-changeup.
As we’ve seen so far with Dave Dombrowski in his short tenure with Boston, when he wants something, he goes after it and gets it done. Dombrowski has Zimmermann very high on his list of potential off-season pitching targets to acquire this winter, in fact, I have it on good authority he culminates the list.
The Red Sox negotiated with the Washington Nationals last off-season on a possible trade that would’ve sent Zimmermann to Boston, but the deal fell through and nothing else became of it. The new President of Baseball Operations in town is going to want to make sure he can rely on his first “big signing” and Jordan Zimmermann is the dependable starter that both he and the Red Sox have been searching for.
Why not sign David Price, instead?
While no one is ruling out signing David Price this winter, it may be more feasible for Boston to make Zimmermann their top priority. Price, 30, has experience pitching in the AL East and has had sustained success pitching in the division. He also doesn’t have any draft pick compensation attached since he was traded from Detroit to Toronto at the deadline this year. He is also left-handed, making him more of a commodity than say Zimmermann or even Johnny Cueto. Not to mention, David Price is a true power-pitcher, which Dombrowski covets and has also had experience with previously in Detroit.
There are two possible explanations to this, either the dollar figure that Price will command this winter will be much too steep for the Red Sox after the disastrous signings of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval a year ago, or Price’s postseason performances raise some eyebrows. Price is almost guaranteed to eclipse $200 million on the open market this off-season. That could be too steep a mark, even for the big market Boston club. Compared to Zimmermann who has limited postseason experience, but in 2014 he was one out away from a complete game shutout in the NLDS against the team that went on to win the World Series before he was pulled.
As far as Zimmermann in concerned, there has long been speculation about him heading home to Wisconsin once he became a free agent, even taking a substantial discount to do so. However, I don’t see the Milwaukee Brewers being able to compete with the Boston Red Sox for Jordan Zimmermann on the free agent market, no matter the desire to be “home”.
There are many options for President of Baseball Operations David Dombrowski to get the Red Sox back to winning playoff games, and Jordan Zimmermann will be a top target this winter.
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