writers challenge each other to a race

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This is meta, even for our usual meta-fueled standards, but beat writers Jordan Bastian and Anthony DiComo have challenged each other to a half-mile race following tomorrow’s Rays-Blue Jays game in Florida.
Bastian (on the right) is the Blue Jays’ beat reporter while DiComo (on the left) covers both the Yankees and Mets, and here’s what passes for trash talk when writers and Twitter are involved:

@AnthonyDiComo: It’s on. I will race @MLBastian in a half-mile event tomorrow in Port Charlotte, following the conclusion of Rays-Jays.

@MLBastian: You will lose. RT @AnthonyDiComo: It’s on. I will race @MLBastian in a half-mile event tomorrow in Port Charlotte, following the Rays-Jays.

Straight and to the point, although the presence of a re-tweet removes a bit of the sting for some reason.
Anyway, because I’m willing to gamble on literally anything my money is on Bastian. Why? No good reason, but I know from reading his various tweets that he’s a distance runner who’s done multiple marathons. For all I know the same is true about DiComo, but I haven’t been following his Twitter feed for as long. And yes, this is what the world has come to now that we’re communicating 140 characters at a time.
Most of all I’m hoping that one of them gets to the start line and announces, Jerry Seinfeld-style: “I choose not to run.” Barring that, my official prediction is pulled hamstrings for both runners, just because it seems like that’s how a race between baseball writers should go.
Godspeed, gentlemen.

Tigers agree to deal with starter Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Hey, the hot stove is finally generating some real fire …

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Tigers have agreed to terms on a contract with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. It’s a five-year deal worth around $110 million, per Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

This should have a domino effect on a loaded starting pitching market. David Price, Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, and Jeff Samardzija are just a few of the names still out there.

Zimmermann, 29, posted a 3.66 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 164/39 K/BB ratio in 201 2/3 innings this past season for the Nationals. He had a 2.66 ERA in 2014 and threw a no-hitter on the final day of the regular season.

Zimmermann’s free agency is tied to draft pick compensation because he rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Washington, but the Tigers finished with one of the 10-worst win-loss records in 2015 so their first-round pick in 2016 is protected. Detroit will give up its second-round pick instead.

Video: Statcast’s 10 longest home runs from 2015

Giancarlo Stanton
AP Photo/Joe Skipper

Here’s a pretty good way to finally break out of that turkey-induced Thanksgiving tryptophan coma.

It’s a compilation of the 10 longest home runs from the 2015 season, with’s Statcast technology providing data along the path of each blast …

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.