#3 – Jordan Zimmerman
The 29-year-old righty from Wisconsin has played all seven years of his MLB career in the NL with the Nationals. He may want to ask for big money from the Red Sox, as well as other teams, simply to drive the price up for the Nationals to try to match, as he may feel comfortable playing there. His homelife may be something that he doesn’t want interrupted through signing elsewhere.
If a couple of factors are not addressed, Zimmerman may have nothing to worry about.
For $16.5 million, Zimmerman has a 10-8 record, with a 3.54 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 160 innings, this season. He’s projected to have a 13-10 record by the end of the year. In his last seven starts, Zimmerman has a 2-3 record and a 4.26 ERA, including the four runs that he allowed against the Colorado Rockies and another four runs against the Milwaukee Brewers. Not horrific, and neither is the .242 opposing batting average in August, down from .268 in July.
Zimmerman’s assortment of pitches are more standard than some of the other names in Bradford’s article. His four-seamer and two-seamer are both clocked around 93 mph, with a slider at 87 mph, a curve, and a rarely-used changeup to complete the set. Zimmerman used them in both of his only starts in Fenway Park, a combined effort of 11 runs, 10 earned, on three walks and seven strikeouts in 9.1 innings. He earned a loss and a no-decision in those appearances.
For the money, Zimmerman would be the better value than the three aforementioned pitchers. For more than $16.5 million, however, Zimmerman might be dreaming. The Red Sox, if they find that their other choices are already taken, should try to sign him for either on par or less money. Maybe sweeten the deal with more years on the contract, but that’s it. The only reason to pay more for Zimmerman is that all other options are gone and they still need another pitcher who is a solid competitor.