Seattle Mariners Trade a Day: Jordan Zimmermann
The MLB Trade Deadline is season has officially begun with a bang. In 24 hours, Manny Machado and Brad Hand have swapped teams. The Mariners will surely be active. Can they find their biggest need in Detroit?
There are 2 things people are absolutely sure about when reporting trade rumors on the Mariners. 1. They are looking for rotation help and 2. they are willing to eat money to make a deal happen. It is also worth mentioning that the pitcher would likely need to have some club control as well.
As it so happens, a pitcher that resides in the Detroit Tigers organization checks all 3 of these boxes. The pitcher is Jordan Zimmermann.
Zimmermann is a 32-year-old, right-handed pitcher who signed a 5 year, $110 million contract with the Tigers in November of 2015. The 2-time NL All-Star had a terrible first 2 season in the American League. In his first 47 starts, Zimmermann posted a 5.60 ERA, a 4.88 FIP, and a 79 ERA+ (100 is average).
Additionally, his K/9 dropped from 7.9 in the NL to 5.7 in Detroit. His WHIP jumped from 1.16 to 1.47. Basically, the $110 million man was a bad pitcher for 2 consecutive seasons. However, Zimmermann has drastically turned things around in 2018.
More from SoDo Mojo
- 2023 Steamer Projections: Teoscar Hernandez could see a drop in Seattle
- Could the Mariners Acquire AL Batting Champion, Luis Arraez?
- Steamer Projections: Julio Rodriguez to enter rarified air in 2023
- What if the Mariners traded FOR Tyler O’Neill this time?
- Mariners starting pitching is being overlooked by MLB
Overall, he is posting a 3.71 ERA in 12 starts, running a 3.38 FIP along the way. His 8.7 K/9 is the highest since his rookie season. The 1.12 WHIP is back in the usual range. Zimmermann’s walks are down, he’s giving up fewer hits, and finding fewer barrels.
Better than that, over his past 10 starts, Zimmermann has posted a 2.73 ERA, a .224/.256/.393 opponents slash line, with just 9 walks and 50 strikeouts over 52.2 innings pitched. The reason for the sharp turn around can be attributed to his slider. Always his best pitch, Zimmermann is using it more and his fastball less, and the results speak for themselves.
Zimmermann appears back to his old self, which was a solid #2 type of arm. That should be music to Mariners’ fans ears.
The natural question is, ” what is it going to cost”? And to be honest, I can’t give you a great answer. It really does depend on how much of the contract the Mariners are willing to eat. If they take the remaining $62 million, the Mariners could likely have him for almost nothing.
If the Tigers take all of it, they could reasonably ask for Kyle Lewis. For our purposes, let’s assume the Tigers eat roughly $20 million total. Here is our proposal:
The Mariners trade Matt Festa to Detroit Tigers for Jordan Zimmermann and $20 million dollars.
In this deal, the Tigers get a young, controllable reliever who misses bats and doesn’t walk guys. They also shed themselves of $42 million to help fuel their rebuild. Not too shabby.
The Mariners get the mid-rotation arm they desperately need, who they’ll control until after the 2020 season. And they’ll do it at the price they can actually afford. There is one potential snag. Zimmermann has a full no-trade clause until after this season. He would need to give the Tigers his permission for this trade to go down.
Next: The 10 Worst Mariners Since 2001
If all the stars line up, Jordan Zimmermann is exactly the type of player the Mariners can afford. A good one with some questionable past, who is making too much money for the Yankees or Red Sox to match. Let’s see if it happens.