Nov 29, 2015, 12:05 PM EDT
After seven years in Washington, Jordan Zimmermann has found a new home. The right-hander has agreed to sign a free agent deal with the Detroit Tigers.
Zimmermann, 29, holds a 3.32 ERA in 178 career starts. In 2015, he went 13-10 with a 3.66 ERA and 164 strikeouts in 201 2/3 innings.
The Nationals will receive a compensation draft pick, as Zimmermann turned down their qualifying offer extended after the World Series was completed.
Zimmermann was one of the Nationals’ first home-grown stars. He joined the franchise as a second round pick in 2007 and blossomed into a two-time All-Star. Zimmermann received votes for NL Cy Young in both 2013 and 2014. He has been the best pitcher in Nationals history since the franchise moved to Washington in 2005.
Zimmermann’s career is one of the best success stories for Tommy John surgery, as Zimmermann had the procedure in 2009 and went on to become an elite starter and highly sought after free agent.
Zimmermann will long be remembered in D.C. for the no-hitter he threw on the last day of the 2014 season against the Miami Marlins. He also came within one out of pitching a shutout against the San Francisco Giants that October.
The Tigers signing Zimmermann represents the first domino in a crowded starting pitching free agent class. Also looking for deals are David Price, Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Yovani Gallardo and John Lackey.
The Nationals are also expected to lose Doug Fister this offseason. With Zimmermann already departing, that leaves their rotation with Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Joe Ross and Tanner Roark.
The Tigers happen to play the Nationals this season as part of interleague play. Detroit will play at Nationals Park on May 9-11, providing a good chance for Zimmermann to return to face his former team.
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