5.) He comes at a good price.
Five years and $110 million may not seem like a bargain, but Zimmermann’s deal is absolutely below market value. For three years of the deal, Zimmermann will likely be at worst a number-two starter. Keep an eye on the market for mid-tier starter Wei-Yin Chen. The left-hander from Taiwan, who is older than Zimmermann by nearly a full year and has never logged 200 innings in a season or recorded a sub-3.00 ERA, may end up signing for close to $20 million per year. Yovani Gallardo is another mid-tier arm who could get $18-20 million per season.
Johnny Cueto already turned down a six-year, $120 million deal from the Arizona Diamondbacks, so he likely expects to be approaching $25 million per season. At the end of the day, if Zimmermann gives the Tigers three years of pitching along the lines of his career averages before beginning to decline, he will have more than lived up to his contract.
If all of that isn’t enough to convince you Zimmermann is a good value, just remember Rick Porcello, traded away by the Tigers, will earn $82.5 million over the next four seasons.