The Milwaukee Brewers still could use a starting pitcher down the stretch. One potential addition could be Wisconsin native Jordan Zimmermann of the Detroit Tigers.
If the Milwaukee Brewers are going to make the playoffs, they’re going to need some more production out of their starting rotation. GM David Stearns didn’t make an addition in July, and will instead have to look for one here in August.
The unfortunate part of that is there are slim pickings on the starting pitching market this year. There wasn’t much available in July and there’s even less available in August unless the Mets change their mind on Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, and Noah Syndergaard.
But one option could be former star pitcher Jordan Zimmermann. He dominated with the Nationals early in his career, then signed with Detroit as a free agent and struggled. But he’s had a nice bounceback season in 2018.
Jordan Zimmermann’s Stats
This season, Zimmermann has a 3.98 ERA in 16 starts. His 4.13 FIP is pretty much on par with his ERA results so far.
Zimmermann does not allow many free passes. His 1.9 BB/9 is his lowest since joining the Tigers three years ago. Also, his strikeout numbers have jumped up this year, striking out eight batters per nine innings on average.
In his most recent start against the Twins, Zimmermann went 6.1 innings and didn’t allow an earned run. In his start before that against Oakland, he also went 6.1 innings and allowed only two earned runs.
He has allowed 14 home runs this season in over 83 innings of work. He’s allowed nine home runs in his last six starts. That could be a concern when bringing him in to a hitter’s paradise like Miller Park.
Zimmermann was a stud with the Washington Nationals, and has struggled since joining the Tigers. A change of scenery might be best for him. And what better place than his home state of Wisconsin?
What Does Zimmermann’s contract look like?
Zimmermann signed a major five year, $110 million contract prior to the 2016 season. He’s due $24 million this season, of which the Milwaukee Brewers would only be on the hook for a portion of should they acquire him. He’s also due $25 million for each of the next two seasons, becoming a free agent after 2020.
This contract will obviously get Zimmermann to clear waivers. Any interested team would need the Tigers to pick up a significant amount of the contract in order for a deal to get done.
Should the Brewers pursue Zimmermann?
For the Milwaukee Brewers to consider acquiring Zimmermann, David Stearns would likely want the Tigers to pick up at least half of the remaining money owed to the right-hander.
With this kind of contract, the prospect acquisition cost wouldn’t be very high, but there’s a significant salary investment for him.
But the way that Zimmermann has looked this season, he could be back into form and is pitching some of his best games in recent years. If he’s back, then they could acquire a potential top-level starting pitcher who has postseason experience into their rotation. And it wouldn’t cost very much to do so.
With the Tigers paying a significant portion of his salary, there’s no reason not to kick the tires on a Zimmermann acquisition. The Brewers will need another starter down the stretch, because this current group won’t cut it.
Getting a pitcher who hasn’t been great in a couple years isn’t ideal, but it may be the best opportunity that’s offered to the Crew this month.