The Detriot Tigers knew that they needed to make upgrades this season and you cannot say they have not been trying so far. After already bringing in Francisco Rodriguez and Cameron Maybin, they topped that with signing Jordan Zimmermann today.
They signed him over 5 years for $110 million, and they bring in a highly coveted ace that should anchor their staff for the foreseeable future. He will surely lead their staff and hopefully help them with a much needed innings eater.
From a fantasy perspective, Zimmermann should surely be able, to at worst, repeat what he has been able to do over the course of his career. He is just as about as durable of a pitcher you will find too tossing over 195 innings the last four years.
In what was deemed a down year in 2015, 13 W/164 K/1.20 WHIP, which gives us a solid floor for Zimmermann heading forward. While his production dipped some last year, a career high FIP of 3.75 ERA in 2015 makes me not too worried that he is going to fall of a cliff next season.
The move to the AL will have its drawbacks based on facing more hitters in general, but the drop-off with a move to Detroit’s pitcher friendly stadium should not be dramatic.
The Tigers offense should rebound with a healthy Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, so the wins should still come and run support should be consistent. One of the more promising signs last season for him was that he increased his S0/9 over the final months of the season, 7.1 in July, 9.2 in August, and 8.6 in September/October.
Zimmermann has never been a high K pitcher, and his 164 K was his lowest total since 2012, so the uptick over the end of the season leads me to think that he fixed whatever was causing him to struggle putting guys away early ib the season. So with a move to the AL he will need to be able to showcase more strikeout ability.
He has always been one of the lower end SP1 options or a great SP2, so the move to the Tigers doesn’t change that. Zimmermann’s value is usually lost because pitching has become such a deep position. For those owners that tend to wait till the middle rounds to stockpile arms, Zimmermann should be one the best options available.
Look for him to post numbers closer too what he did this season, which are perfectly serviceable. He has been perennially under rated, but the fantasy community has been well acquainted with the value Zimmermann has been able to produce during his career.
Early 2016 Projections: 15 W/3.60 ERA/175 K/1.25 WHIP