Detroit Tigers: Jordan Zimmermann era finally over in the Motor City

(Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports)
(Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers finally see the day as Jordan Zimmermann’s contract comes off the organization’s payroll.

As the Detroit Tigers keep working through this offseason, they should have an easy task at hand while they try to fill out their roster for the 2021 season. They also should have just seen $25 million freed up in the organization’s payroll, as Jordan Zimmermann has had his contract expire.

The 34-year old Zimmermann is now a free agent; where he ends up is unknown, but he is no longer clogging a roster spot from the Tigers organization. Not to mention, he is no longer grossly overpaid as one of the worst arms the Tigers have had in recent years.

While in 2020, Zimmermann spent time on the shelf battling injuries, he is now a free agent and can explore options to continue playing elsewhere. Keep in mind that the organization chose to watch Max Scherzer walk out the door, giving his money to Jordan Zimmermann, the following offseason.

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Before the 2016 season, the Tigers gave Zimmermann a 5-year, $110 million on a backloaded contract that paid out $25 million over the past two seasons.

Zimmermann has completely fallen off and seemingly struggled to be the same pitcher he was with the Washington Nationals.

He has never posted an ERA below 4.52 while wearing a Tigers uniform. In 2019, Zimmermann made 23 starts, totaling 112 innings pitched, where he had a 6.91 ERA, a 1.52 WHIP, a 1-13 record, and allowed 19 total home runs.

In 2020, Zimmermann battled injuries, only pitching in three games where he had a 7.94 ERA and a 2.29 WHIP over 5.2 innings pitched.

Not ideal, to say the least, Zimmermann has just not panned out to be the pitcher the organization had hoped for.

However, as they take a look at the 2021 free-agent market and fill out their roster’s needs, they can replace Zimmermann and his $25 million payroll chunk with a much better and cost-effective option.

Instead of watching Zimmermann get thrown out there and eat innings up for the Tigers while giving up hit after hit, the Tigers can go out and sign a middle of the pack starter to provide insurance for the rotation. They could also move said starter at the 2021 trade deadline.

Nonetheless, Zimmermann’s contract is no longer a burden for this organization; money is no longer being thrown away for a starting pitcher who struggled to keep his ERA under 5.00 on a yearly basis.

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While the Detroit Tigers offseason needs may be minimal, fans can rejoice as the $25 million payroll burden of Jordan Zimmermann no longer hits the organization’s books in 2021.