2015 Statistics: 201.2 IP, 7.32 K/9, 1.74 BB/9, 1.07 HR/9, 3.66 ERA, 3.75 FIP
2016 Age: 30
Position: Right-handed starting pitcher
The offseason is only a few weeks underway and so far, the Yankees haven't done much outside of the trade for outfielder Aaron Hicks. The team is rumored to be interested in starting pitching and there are some big names on the market, including Zack Greinke, David Price and Johnny Cueto. However, the Yankees have been disinclined to shell out big contracts over the past couple of years. Jordan Zimmermann is also a free agent this year, and since he's coming off of a down season, he might earn a cheaper contract than some of the other starting pitchers available. Should the Yankees be interested in Zimmermann?
2014 was easily the best season of Zimmermann's career as he posted a sub-3.00 ERA and maintained 8.20 K/9. To top things off, he finished the season by pitching his first no-hitter against the Marlins. He was not able to achieve quite the same success this year though. Zimmermann still put up decent numbers, but his strikeout numbers dropped, and he nearly doubled the number of home runs he gave up this year compared to 2014. He wisely chose to decline the qualifying offer that the Nationals made, but since Zimmermann didn't have the best season, he shouldn't command as large of a contract as Greinke or Price, despite being younger than them. It's hard to predict what kind of contract Zimmermann will land since there hasn't been much action yet during the offseason, but he will probably get a contract in the $100 million range.
Interestingly, the Yankees are rumored to be one of the teams pursuing Wei-Yin Chen, and he's coming off of a season very similar to Zimmermann's (7.20 K/9, 3.34 ERA, 4.14 FIP for Chen), so it would make since if the Yankees were interested in Zimmermann as well. Chen is roughly a year older and his career numbers haven't been quite as good as Zimmermann's, but the fact that Chen is a lefty could give him an advantage since the Yankees' rotation is all right-handers besides CC Sabathia. Chen also has had success pitching in the AL East, while there's no way to know how Zimmermann would transition from the National League to the American League. Both Zimmermann and Chen would cost the Yankees a draft pick since they both declined qualifying offers. If the Yankees are okay with losing their draft pick, then they almost might as well just spend the money on Price or Greinke though. The Yankees don't currently have room for another starting pitcher, so they would either need to trade one or move some pitchers to the bullpen. If they see the opportunity to improve upon the likes of Sabathia and Ivan Nova, they should certainly do so.
Do you think the Yankees should be interested in Zimmermann? Do you think that keeping the draft pick is more important than signing someone like Greinke, Price or Zimmermann?