Sep 30, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) delivers a pitch to an Atlanta Braves batter in the sixth inning of their game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Right-handed, number two starter: Potentially the biggest obstacle to overcome in signing a pitcher of this stature is the fact that Jerry Reinsdorf and Co. have never handed out a contract worth more than Jose Abreu‘s $68 million dollar pact starting in 2014 when the burly first baseman escaped Cuba. However, there has seemingly been some willingness to top that mark, especially with pitching. When Masahiro Tanaka was coming over from Japan during that same off-season, the White Sox reportedly offered in the $100,000,000 range for the righty and something near that figure may have been floated in extension talks with Jeff Samardzija when he was acquired, but no one knows for sure. Samardzija not talking extension and struggling is oddly enough why the Pale Hose are looking for a number two starter for the second winter in a row. One name on the free agent market that most intrigues me is Jordan Zimmermann.
The former Washington Nationals starter is 29 years old and looking to cash in this off-season. A tier below the likes of Johnny Cueto, Zach Greinke, and David Price, the UW-Stevens Point product could jump to a team early before they spend all their money on one of the other pitchers mentioned to avoid the situation James Shields found himself in last year, where he signed late and ended up getting $35 million less than his asking price, signing a four-year/$75 million deal with the San Diego Padres in early February of this year. Zimmermann and his agent would be wise to avoid a similar situation this year (although it would be nice to get a pitcher of his caliber that cheap) and sign on the dotted line if the White Sox offer what Shields asked for last year and become the first player in franchise history to ink a nine-figure deal. Following that, if the club can trade starter John Danks and his contract, a rotation of Sale, Zimmermann, Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon, and Erik Johnson would be more than enough to compete. SIGNING: 5 years, $115,000,000 for Zimmermann to pitch for the White Sox