One thing is clear: The Chicago Cubs are ready to take it up a notch next season and add a quality starting pitcher. Whether that pitcher is Jordan Zimmermann, which means initiating a trade with the Washington Nationals, remains to be seen.
According to the Sun-Times, reported by Gordon Wittenmyer, the two teams have discussed exchanging players. Paul Zimmerman, reporting for the Tribune, alleges that the Cubs won’t be getting Zimmermann after all, and the two teams haven’t been exchanging names.
The 28-year old has one more year left on his contract worth $16.5 million before hitting free agency. He has been an All-Star in 2013 and 2014, averaging over 200 innings in the last three seasons. He had a career low 2.66 ERA in 2014 (14-5 win-loss) and walked less people than anyone, averaging just 1.3 walks per nine innings.
Zimmermann isn’t the only pitcher on the shortlist for the Cubs. Jon Lester has been a named mentioned as a free agent target for them, although Lester has stated multiple times that he prefers ending up back in Boston, despite getting traded by the Red Sox to Oakland during the season.
Another option comes from within the division in Justin Masterson. A 2013 All-Star, minor injuries hurting him and causing a decline. He was traded from the Indians to the Cardinals during the season, but didn’t get to pitch in the playoffs. He’s also a free agent.