The Detroit Tigers have already found a way to bolster their pitching staff this offseason, reaching terms with free-agent right-hander Jordan Zimmerman on a five-year, $110 million contract Sunday. An ESPN source confirmed the reports, which pend a physical exam.
Zimmerman is the highest-profile free agent to come off the market this somewhat-slow offseason. A two-time All-Star with the Washington Nationals, he made 178 career starts with the Nats, posting a win-loss record of 70-50. He holds a career ERA of 3.32 and has thrown 903 strikeouts in seven seasons.
Detroit had been looking to add depth to their rotation alongside Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez after the team finished last in the AL Central in 2015. With the fourth and fifth spots still available, the team will likely look to add another starter from the free-agent pool and mix in prospects Daniel Norris, Shane Greene, and Matt Boyd.
The 6'2", 225-pound right-hander is the Nationals' all-time leader in starts, innings, wins, and strikeouts. Zimmerman's 810 innings over the past four seasons rank third in the league, and he's one of four pitchers to make at least 32 starts and go at least 190 innings each season over that span. He's also the only Washington pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter.
Last season, Zimmerman, 29, posted a 13-10 record and a 3.66 ERA over 33 starts. Now at the prime of his career, he certainly cashed in with this deal with the Tigers.
Detroit and first-year GM Al Avila have now made another aggressive acquisition this offseason, after already pouncing on closer Francisco Rodriguez and outfielder Cameron Maybin via trades.
Justin Verlander noted on Twitter as details were being released that he hopes the deal was indeed made and that he has "always enjoyed watching Zimmerman pitch."
Washington, with Stephen Strausburg, former-Tiger Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez, and Doug Fister on staff, should not feel too hard-done by the loss of Zimmerman.