Jordan Zimmermann, in the third year of a hefty five-year, $110 million contract with the Tigers, is not generally viewed as a player likely to be traded as Tuesday’s deadline approaches.
Not so fast, says ESPN’s Jeff Sullivan, who includes Zimmermann on his list of 10 “under-the-radar” trade targets — a list that also includes Tigers outfielder Leonys Martin.
Zimmermann, 32, is 4-2 this season with a 3.97 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, with 65 strikeouts and 12 walks over 68 innings. He is making $24 million this season and is set to make $25 million in each of the next two seasons.
“There are obstacles (to a trade),” Sullivan says. “Zimmermann is due $25 million in 2019, and he's due another $25 million in 2020. He also has full no-trade protection, which he would have to give up. Zimmermann would have to be willing to be dealt, and the Tigers would have to be willing to eat money. But, I don't know why Zimmermann would want to remain in Detroit, if he were wanted by a contender. And a contender might notice that Zimmermann resembles a younger version of himself. His strikeouts and walks are back to his 2014 levels. … I wouldn't count on anything happening, but if the Tigers ate enough of his contract, they could get a real return for an apparently rejuvenated starter.”
Yankees bolster bullpen
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said newly acquired reliever Zach Britton will fill a variety of roles at the back end of the bullpen but emphasized that Aroldis Chapman’s role remains the same.
“Chappy is our closer,” Boone said before Wednesday’s 3-2 loss at Tampa Bay. “I’m sure there will be opportunities on a day when maybe we need to stay away from Chappy or it’s three in a row for Chappy, those kind of things. Having so many quality guys, that allows us to really preserve and protect them.”
The Yankees acquired Britton from the rebuilding Baltimore Orioles for three prospects late Tuesday, a trade expected to bolster New York’s bullpen for the stretch run.
Chapman left a July 7 outing against Toronto with left knee discomfort.
“He’s been dealing with the issue,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said during a conference call. “He’s been successful despite the issue and feels it’s a nonissue other than the fact that we just have to deal with it and it’s a maintenance thing. It didn’t factor into any acquisition.”
Britton will join the Yankees for tonight’s home game against Kansas City.
The 30-year-old joins Chapman, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Chasen Shreve, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder and Adam Warren in an already strong bullpen.
“We’re certainly as capable as anyone,” Boone said.
The Yankees entered Wednesday five games behind the AL East-leading Red Sox.
Red Sox add to rotation
The Red Sox enhanced their thin starting rotation for a playoff run, obtaining right-hander Nathan Eovaldi from the Rays in a trade for minor-league lefty Jalen Beeks.
Eovaldi had been scheduled to start the Rays’ game against the Yankees on Wednesday but was scratched about two hours before game time.
“I assumed there was a possibility, of course, especially where I am in my career and the way my contract was for this year,” Eovaldi said before leaving Tropicana Field.
Eovaldi can become a free agent after this season.
It didn’t matter to the Red Sox that Eovaldi may not be part of the team beyond 2018.
He throws hard and can fill out a rotation that features Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and David Price.
Eovaldi returned this season following Tommy John surgery in August 2016.
He’s 3-4 with a 4.26 ERA in 10 starts after starting the 2018 season on the disabled list following arthroscopic surgery on his elbow.