“The Hot Stove” refers to the Major League Baseball offseason, particularly the time around the Winter Meetings when free-agent signings and trades are most prevalent. (Via MLB.com)
When the Detroit Tigers signed Jordan Zimmermann to a 5-year $110 million contract following the 2014 season, they hoped they were inking somebody who would be a top of the rotation type pitcher.
Unfortunately, Zimmermann has stuggled mightily in each of his first two seasons wearing the old English D. In fact, in 47 starts with the Tigers he is 17-20 with a 5.60 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. Those numbers are certainly not what you want from a starting pitcher, much less a guy you are paying over $100 million.
Ideally, Zimmermann would work out his kinks and rebound in 2018, but we are certainly not holding our breath on that idea.
So, what are the Tigers options? Well, they could just roll with him in the rotation in 2018 or they could give him the Anibal Sanchez treatment and make him re-earn the spot during Spring Training.
Or they could trade him?
In a piece written by Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com, he talks about “10 moves that would make the Hot Stove sizzle.” Included on Castrovince’s list is a trade that has the Detroit Tigers sending Jordan Zimmermann to the New York Yankees for outfielder, Jacoby Ellsbury.
Here is Castrovince’s rationale for the trade:
Bad contract trades are surprisingly … good? At the least, they are an opportunity for players to reset and hope lightning strikes. Honestly, I don’t know how much this swap would necessarily improve either club, but the Yankees need starting depth and the Tigers clearly need another outfielder named Jacoby (to go with JaCoby Jones). At the least, the money pretty much matches up, with Ellsbury owed $74 million guaranteed over the next three seasons and Zimmermann owed $68.4 million in the same span. Zimmermann could still be a functional starter or swingman, perhaps with a more breaking ball-heavy repertoire.
In 2017, Ellsbury, who is 34-years-old, hit .264 with seven home runs and 39 RBIs in 112 games with the Yankees.
What do you think, Nation? Is this a move you would make if you were the Tigers?