PHOENIX — The Milwaukee Brewers re-signed pitcher Jordan Zimmermann to a minor league contract one day after releasing him.
This move enables the Brewers to send the 34-year-old right-hander to their alternate site in Appleton, Wisconsin.
“I think Jordan is going to help us at some point in the season,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “I think he’s a great presence in the clubhouse and I’m happy we were able to work something out for him to be able to stay with us. We’re going to need depth.”
Under baseball's labour contract, players who became free agents after the World Series and agreed to a minor league contract had to be told by Saturday that they would be added to the major league roster by opening day, given a $100,000 retention bonus or released. Cutting Zimmermann and then re-signing him got around that.
Zimmermann, a Wisconsin native, said he didn’t really look around to see if any other organizations might make an offer after getting released. He wanted to stay with the Brewers.
“I knew this is where I wanted to be,” Zimmermann said Saturday. “It’s a great organization. The guys in the clubhouse are great. I wasn’t looking to go anywhere else. I feel like this is a good fit for me. I think I can help this team at some point during the season.”
Zimmermann made All-Star teams with the Washington Nationals in 2013 and 2014, but he has struggled with injuries the last two seasons. He went 0-0 with a 7.94 ERA in three appearances for Detroit last year.
Although he went 1-0 with a 6.00 ERA in four relief outings this spring, Zimmermann has been a starter for all but two of his 275 major-league career appearances.
“I think what we’ll do is we’ll stretch him out and then see where it takes us and see what our needs are,” Counsell said. “I think keeping him healthy is important. He is capable of pitching at the start of games. He’s capable of pitching bulk innings. At some point, we’re going to need that.”
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