Jordan Zimmermann- Detroit Tigers
The third pitcher, and last entry on my list comes from the Detroit Tigers. Things haven’t worked out well for the team or for Jordan Zimmermann since he signed his five year, 110 million dollar deal before the 2016 season.
The 32 year old made 25 starts last year and hoped to improve on his disastrous 2017 campaign, but unfortunately it wasn’t a whole lot better. After putting up a 8-13 record with a 6.08 ERA in 29 starts in 2017, Zimmermann followed it up by going 7-8 and dropping his ERA to 4.52. He managed lowered his WHIP from 1.550 to 1.264, so perhaps there’s some reason for optimism going forward from the right-hander, but they Tigers still aren’t getting what they’re paying for.
Like the rest of the players on this list, Zimmermann is handsomely compensated through the remainder of his deal, and is owed 50 million over the next two seasons. His contract also contains some interesting clauses, including a 10 team limited trade approval list, and several performance incentives, most of which are likely a non-factor. While it’s possible Zimmermann included the Blue Jays on his trade list, it’s unfortunately rare for veterans to do that, so he would likely have to approve a trade to Toronto for it to happen.
Whether or not he would be open to the possibility is unknown, but the Tigers would save a bit of money by trading Zimmermann, and the Blue Jays could use another veteran starter, even if he’s not the borderline ace he used to be. The Tigers don’t have an obvious candidate to fill the shortstop gap in the immediate future either, so Tulowitzki could theoretically start there if he were healthy as well.
Chances are this one isn’t going to happen either though. As much as the Blue Jays need some veteran starters to eat some innings, the Tigers are going to need the same thing in their rebuild. Perhaps they would see the value in saving a bit of money with the swap, but it’s also possible that the roughly 12 million they would save may have to be spent on another starter anyway. It does make sense on some level though, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the idea could come up.