Jordan Zimmermann set to make Tommy John history in free agency
Free-agent starter Jordan Zimmermann is expected to sign for a guarantee of $100 million or more, according to a number of team executives and player agents surveyed this week.
And if that happens, Zimmermann will make history -- as the first pitcher to sign a nine-figure contract after undergoing Tommy John surgery (Zimmermann had the procedure in August 2009).
In fact, only eight starting pitchers have signed deals worth at least $30 million following the surgery. That group includes John Smoltz, the only Tommy John recipient in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Here'€™s the full list, according to Jeff Euston of Baseball Prospectus:
Adam Wainwright: February 2011 surgery; five-year, $97.5 million contract with Cardinals in March 2013.
A.J. Burnett: April 2003 surgery; five-year, $55 million contract with Blue Jays in December 2005 (from which he opted out), and five-year, $82.5 million contract with Yankees in December 2008.
Anibal Sanchez: June 2003 surgery; five-year, $80 million contract with Tigers in December 2012.
C.J. Wilson: August 2003 surgery; five-year, $77.5 million contract with Angels in December 2011.
Darren Dreifort: March 1995 surgery; five-year, $55 million contract with Dodgers in December 2000.
Ryan Dempster: August 2003 surgery; four-year, $52 million contract with Cubs in November 2008.
Francisco Liriano: November 2006 surgery; three-year, $39 million contract with Pirates in December 2014.
John Smoltz: March 2000 surgery; three-year, $30 million contract with Braves in December 2001.