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Zimmermann signs with Tigers

Nov 29, 2015, 12:05 PM EST

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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.

CBS Sports was first to report the news. The contract is worth five years and $110 million, according to Fox Sports.

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.

  1. Drew - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:17 PM

    Good luck to JZimm. Given that the Tigers’ top pick (No. 9) is protected, the Nats apparently get their second pick.

    Is that right? Wouldn’t a second round pick be worse than a “sandwich” pick between the first two rounds?

    • natsguy - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:38 PM

      Yes. Ian Desmond is probably going to be the same situation if he signs with the Padres.

      • positivelyhalfst - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:45 PM

        Really? I though the Nats get a sandwich pick either way. It’s just that the Tigers don’t lose their first round pick.

    • veejh - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:42 PM

      I’m pretty sure it’s a sandwich pick.

      • Wadlez - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:45 PM

        We get the 38th pick. 37th when Dez signs

      • unkyd59 - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:52 PM

        Sigh…. It’s not that complicated. Protected, or not, it’s the same sandwich pick. The signing team loses their 1st round pick, unless it’s protected (top 15), in which case they’ll lose the 2nd round pick. Chase isn’t reading this, and when my correct his error (can we assign Chase the position number “10”? E-10!!😉

      • unkyd59 - Nov 29, 2015 at 1:37 PM

        Should have read “…and won’t correct his error…”

      • unkyd59 - Nov 29, 2015 at 9:00 PM

        Well shut my mouth!!! Chase DID correct his error, by saying the Nats will receive a compensatory pick. Credit, where credit is due 😊

    • Section 222 - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:53 PM

      The Nats get a sandwich pick. The Tigers lose their 2nd round pick because their 1st rounder is protected:

      http://www.fangraphs.com/library/business/draft-pick-compensation/

  2. naterialguy - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:20 PM

    Thanks for the memories JZ. Pitch long and prosper.

  3. natsfan1a - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:30 PM

    Good luck, and thanks for giving me one of my top in-person baseball memories. Okay, make that two.

  4. Sonny G 10 - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:31 PM

    Knew this was coming, but it still saddens me now that it has happened. Good luck Jordan. I will still root for you, except when it causes harm to the Nats.

  5. JimmyBB - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:41 PM

    What was the amount he turned down from the Nationals?

  6. veejh - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:44 PM

    He got what everyone thought he wanted, to be closer to home. Good luck, Jordan.

    $22M/year, huh. Seems about right? I wonder if the Nats ever offered anything close to this?

  7. bigcat492 - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:48 PM

    Yes….JZim….best of luck to you. Its a sad day in Washington

  8. nats1924 - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:48 PM

    Congrats to Zim!

    …Didnt the Nats offer 4/100 ?

  9. faridrushdi - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:48 PM

    The contract is great for the Detroit Tigers, but could this possibly be what Jordan was expecting?

    Both Max Scherzer and Jordan Zimmermann made about the same their last season before free agency, about $15 million. Scherzer received $210 million ($21 million/yr) while Zimmermann got $110 million for five years ($22 million/yr) in their free agent contracts.

    No way Jordan is half as valuable as Max. Maybe he wanted to play for a playoff caliber team close to home and this was the best he could do. And, man, I lived in Detroit for three years. It’s not the kind of city people move to because they like it.

    • npb99 - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:56 PM

      Yes, I’m surprised the contract isn’t richer. Didn’t the Nats have something similar on the table for him in the past?

    • Drew - Nov 29, 2015 at 1:03 PM

      Farid writes: “No way Jordan is half as valuable as Max.”

      That struck me as a bit over the top, but in 2015 it was true, according to Baseball Reference.

      Jordan’s WAR was 3.5 and Max’s was 7.1.

    • philipd763 - Nov 29, 2015 at 1:49 PM

      Scherzer’s contract is for 7 years so he average annual is $30 million, not $21 million.

  10. bigcat492 - Nov 29, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    Yeah, I was stunned only 110 mil. Guess he just didn’t wanna be in DC anymore

  11. naterialguy - Nov 29, 2015 at 1:09 PM

    I haven’t thought he wanted to be in DC for many years. Not sure why. Too much glamour for a farm kid? Who knows I only know that when the options were there he never seemed that interested.
    I think the reason he only got a 5 year deal is completely due to his TJ surgery and the uncertainty for longevity that comes with it.
    We did right by him and he did right by us. So no room to complain on either end.
    I do think he deserved and earned the right to be the opening day starter on two occasions.

    • virginiascopist - Nov 29, 2015 at 1:42 PM

      No complaints here. And let’s hope the compensation pick we receive for him turns out as well as the one that brought him to D.C. way back when.

  12. philipd763 - Nov 29, 2015 at 1:46 PM

    I doubt this contract is any better than the one the Nats offered him two years ago. His less than stellar 2015 season and the signing of Max Scherzer sealed his fate.

  13. philipd763 - Nov 29, 2015 at 1:55 PM

    Strange that there is no option for a 6th year, very unusual!

  14. jskurtzke - Nov 29, 2015 at 2:24 PM

    Nats offered 5/105 before last season…6/121 if you add the arb year in 2015. So JZimm either misjudged the market or just wanted to be closer to home. My guess is the former. Either way, he assumed a huge amount of injury risk in 2015.

    • Karl Kolchak - Nov 29, 2015 at 2:38 PM

      I would surmise that his 2015 drop off lowered his market value. Had he repeated his 2014 performance, l’ll bet he would have received closer to $140 million for 6 years.

  15. nataddicted - Nov 29, 2015 at 2:40 PM

    Hi Everyone, From James Wagner 11/20/2014

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/nationals-journal/wp/2014/11/20/jordan-zimmermann-wants-to-stay-in-d-c-but-understands-his-situation/ “According to the Chicago Sun-Times report last week, Zimmermann turned down a five-year, $85-million offer from the Nationals. That number, however, is believed to have been lower.”

    85M/5 is 17 per.

  16. unkyd59 - Nov 29, 2015 at 3:02 PM

    If the Nats offered to give Stras Max’s deal…. Any chance he and Boras would sign?

    • veejh - Nov 29, 2015 at 3:06 PM

      They’d jump.

  17. bigcat492 - Nov 29, 2015 at 6:51 PM

    I think Stra might finally have his sh%t together. Think he’s gonna have a big year next season

    Zimm’s velocity was down at the end of year.

    • letswin3 - Nov 29, 2015 at 7:31 PM

      I’m with ya, Bigcat. I’m convinced that he became what he can be when he returned from the second D/L last season … everything was different, from his velocity to (even more importantly) his attitude when he scuffled. If he would take a Scherzer deal, beginning in 2016, I would favor it. He just may become the Nat’s best rotation guy … you know, the one we expected back 4 or 5 years ago.

      • unkyd59 - Nov 29, 2015 at 7:56 PM

        I wouldn’t get mad, either…😉

  18. mwgchess - Nov 30, 2015 at 12:58 AM

    Knew it would happen but I am still sad to see Zimm go. He was always one of my favorite players on the Nats. Wish him luck in Detroit. I am also a fan of the Tigers so I’m glad they got him.

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