HBT Weekend Wrapup


1950s lawn.jpgAll kinds of stuff happened over the weekend. Such as:

  • For those keeping score: when Derek Jeter tries to play hurt, he’s a “gamer.” When Alex Rodriguez tries to play hurt, he’s betraying the glorious New York Yankees and pooping on Babe Ruth’s grave;
  • Rich Harden is on the DL with a strained butt. Really;
  • Dice-K goes on the DL. Because of some forearm thing, though, not because of intestinal trauma or whatever caused that barfing thing the other day;
  • Because Daniel Nava hit a grand slam in his first at bat as a Red Sox, he’ll become one of those Darnell McDonald/Shelley Duncan figures who the press always speak warmly of and to whom they always feel that the team isn’t a giving  a fair shake, now matter how bad they’re otherwise performing. Look for years of tweets from Red Sox beat writers like this: “Nava just signed a minor league deal with the Marlins. Good for him. Hope he latches on.”
  • Wait, Nava gets a shoutout from Erin Andrews simply because he’s left tickets at the will call for her a few times?  I’ve been stalking her for years and I’ve never gotten so much as a sideways glance.  OK, I may have said too much;

What a weekend!  Hang around later today for my gripping, in-person account of the Strasburg game (note: may not be gripping), the Power Rankings, and the usual brand of Monday tomfoolery, monkeyshines and shenanigans. But no funny business: we don’t tolerate that rebop around here.

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
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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 MLB.com’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.