Sep 25, 2015; Washington, DC, USA;
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Zimmermann (27) throws to the Philadelphia Phillies during the second inning at Nationals Park.
(Photo Credit:Brad Mills
-USA TODAY Sports)
The former Washington Nationals rotation stalwart is offered here as the prime example of a starting pitcher who some Phillies fans might think fits a profile that the club should pursue, but who there is virtually no chance that they actually will even consider.
While the righthander is indeed under 30 years of age, he will turn that age in late May of 2016. So the Phils would essentially be signing a 30-year old starter, since he will pitch the majority of next season at that age. Not that 30 is a death sentence, far from it. But now is not the time for the club to be investing huge money in post-30 starting pitchers.
Zimmermann may not be considered by some as a Price/Cueto/Greinke caliber starter. But there is still going to be a strong, competitive market for him. He should still be expected to have a good five years in his arm, taking him through his age 34 season.
Someone is going to shell out a contract of at least that length, at over $100 million in salary for a pure #2 starting pitcher who has made 32+ starts in four straight seasons. But that will be a contending team, looking to win a World Series right now.
While the Zimmermann age and contract would be risky for a rebuilding club such as the Phillies, it is not the only risk. Washington just made him a qualifying offer for 2016. While he certainly will turn that QO down, it does mean that the Phils would have to surrender their first unprotected pick, likely their 2nd round selection, which would be a Top 40 draftee. That won’t happen.
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