The rumor came out of no where in the middle of a football game. The questions came soon after on Twitter. Hearing anything on Jordan Zimmermann to the Tigers? While at the time it was impossible to track that rumor to any particular source with a bit of Internet sleuthing, where there was smoke there ... is a little bit more smoke, anyway.
Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi reported on Twitter late Saturday that multiple people have told him and colleague Ken Rosenthal that Zimmermann and the Tigers have become "serious."
Here's a nice place to remind you that we're in that wonderful time of the year where rumors fall like snowflakes, big and small, each unique, certainly, yet taken together a collective to be mostly plowed to the side of road and forgotten by spring. 'Tis the season for strategic use of the media. This rumor just seems to have a little bit of wheels to it.
This is exactly the kind of move the Tigers should be making. BYB took a poll of our staff members earlier in the month and overwhelmingly picked Zimmermann as our top free agent choice. It was pretty simple why: The 29-year-old (who turns 30 in May) was going to cost much less than free agency's true stars like David Price and Zack Greinke, while providing the Tigers with a young pitcher who has already found a lot of success in his career. He made All-Star appearances in 2013 and 2014 with the Nationals and has a no-hitter on his resume, as well. He doesn't have to be the star, just complement the middle of the Tigers rotation. Coming off a 3.66 ERA (3.75 FIP) season and with career figures of 3.32 ERA and 3.40 FIP, he fits the bill well.
Now that Tigers GM Al Avila has gone out and added a closer (Francisco Rodriguez) and multi-tooled outfielder (Cameron Maybin), starting pitching is the top remaining priority. All the better if he can take care of that need before the winter meetings even begin Dec. 7 in Nashville.
Should the Tigers sign Zimmermann, who rejected a qualifying offer from the Nationals, they would have to forfeit their second draft pick. Their first pick, ninth overall, is protected.