Boston Red Sox: Potential Free Agent Starting Pitchers

5 of 6

Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Zimmermann was a pitcher much discussed last year as a potential target for the Boston Red Sox to target for a potential trade. The Washington Nationals instead kept Zimmermann and he again had a fifth straight solid season in Washington. Like Cueto, Zimmermann would cost the Red Sox their twelfth overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft as he was given a qualifying offer by Washington.

Zimmermann is another National League lifer who has questions about his ability to transition to the American League. Similar to Johnny Cueto, the price tag for Zimmermann will likely be much lower than the massive deals that will go to David Price and Zack Greinke.

However, even as a bargain comparatively, Zimmerman has never had to be the alpha dog in Washington with Stephen Strasburg and also Max Scherzer at the front of the staff.

Zimmermann has topped 190 innings pitched in each of the last four season and topped 150 strikeouts in each of those years. He has a career 3.32 ERA and 903 strikeouts in 1,094 innings. Zimmermann will cost what a top-of-the-rotation starter will cost, but not the length of contract like Price nor the price per season of Greinke.

However, for the cost of the twelfth overall pick and another contract similar to Rick Porcello, it seems excessive.

Zimmermann is similar to Cueto in that he is on the next level below Price and Greinke, but Cueto not costing the draft pick is a huge positive. Zimmermann may be the top starter in Boston next year, but he is a consolation prize if Price or Greinke do not sign in Boston. Zimmermann is a very good pitcher but has not proven to be a number one ace.

Adding Zimmermann and giving up the first round draft pick will be a hard sell to the media and fans for the Red Sox brass. Missing out on one of the top pitchers on the market and adding another version of Rick Porcello sounds like a recipe for a disaster for Dave Dombrowski.

Next: Best of the Rest