Tigers, righty Zimmermann finalize five-year, $110M deal
DETROIT — Free agent pitcher Jordan Zimmermann has finalized a $110 million, five-year contract with the Detroit Tigers.
Zimmermann gets $18 million in each of the next two seasons, $24 million in 2018 and $25 million in each of the final two years. As part of the agreement announced Monday, he has a full-no trade provision through 2018, then can be dealt to 10 teams without his permission during 2019-20.
The 29-year-old right-hander went 13-10 with a 3.66 ERA last season for Washington, striking out 164 with 39 walks. The previous year, he went 14-5 with a 2.66 ERA.
Following four straight AL Central titles, the Tigers finished last this year.
Detroit will forfeit its second-round pick in June’s amateur draft and Washington will gain a compensation selection, No. 38 overall.
Zimmermann was the first free agent to sign among the 17 with compensation attached.
Seeking their first World Series title since 1984, the Tigers slipped last season in large part because their rotation declined after Max Scherzer signed with Washington as a free agent. Now Zimmermann is heading in the other direction, joining a Detroit starting staff that includes Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez.
Detroit has been active early this offseason under Al Avila, who was promoted to general manager when Dave Dombrowski was let go shortly after last season’s trade deadline. Detroit has also traded for closer Francisco Rodriguez and outfielder Cameron Maybin, and the signing of Zimmermann is a sign that the Tigers are still willing to make a big financial commitment to putting a winning team on the field.
Detroit traded high-priced stars David Price and Yoenis Cespedes in the middle of last season, acquiring several pitching prospects, including left-hander Daniel Norris. The Tigers were encouraged with Verlander’s pitching down the stretch, and Sanchez’s ability to bounce back from a disappointing 2015 should be crucial.
Detroit still has Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez signed to expensive contracts. Cabrera was outstanding when healthy last season, and Verlander shook off injury problems of his own to post a 3.38 ERA.
Even with Zimmermann in the fold, the Tigers may have their work cut out for them in a division that includes World Series champion Kansas City, an improving Minnesota team and a Cleveland rotation that has plenty of potential.
Zimmermann leaves Washington after a disappointing season in which the Nationals finished seven games behind the NL East champion New York Mets. With Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and youngster Joe Ross, starting pitching could still be a strength for the Nationals.
As part of the deal, Zimmermann would earn $500,000 for winning the Cy Young Award, $200,000 for finishing second and $100,000 for third, and he has the same provisions for the MLV Award. He would get $100,000 apiece for becoming an All-Star and winning a Gold Glove. He would earn $200,000 if he is World Series MVP and $150,000 if he is League Championship Series MVP.