The Chicago Cubs were involved in the first big rumor of this off-season, as they were reported to be in talks with the Washington Nationals to acquire Jordan Zimmermann. While the initial report was later denied by several sources that there was nothing to be talked about, the word is out there and all the signs point to the Cubs trying to improve their rotation drastically before the next season.
That being said, Zimmermann is not the best fit for what the Cubs are trying to do and they would be wise to stay away from the 28-year-old.
There’s no question that Zimmermann would be an immense upgrade for the Cubs’ rotation. He would be the ace of the staff and would add a constant presence on the mound as he has started over 25 games each of the past four seasons – he actually made 32 starts on 2012, 2013 and 2014. The two-time All-Star finished last season with a 2.66 ERA to go along with a 14-5 record, and a 1.072 WHIP, and he would certainly upgrade the staff but the price the Nationals are asking is expected to be quite steep.
Washington reportedly would want one of the Cubs’ shortstops as they are looking for help in the middle of the infield. Javier Baez, Addison Russell or even Starlin Castro could be in play but they would ask for other prospects such as Dan Vogelbach and possibly one or two arms from the farm system.
Aside from that, Zimmermann is expected to become a free agent after 2015 and there’s no doubt he will command a hefty price tag. He already rejected a new contract and in the case he’s extended, the new deal would go north of $100 million.
Zimmermann’s numbers could play really good in Wrigley Field. He finished 2014 with a 22.8% K rate and a ridiculous 3.6% BB rate. Zimmerman doesn’t turn 29 until next year and while he’s still young and just entering his prime years, the Cubs could have better – and possibly cheaper – options to fix their rotation issues in the upcoming 18 months.