Nats ink Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond to two-year extensions

Updated: January 17, 2014
Jordan Zimmermann

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Long term contact extension discussions have hit rock bottom with starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, and instead, the two sides agreed to a two year contract extension.  The deal would take Zimmermann to 2015, which he would then be available for free agency.   The deal is for two years worth $24 million.  Apparently, the gap between Zimmermann and the Nationals was not a realistic gap they could close.

You had to figure it would get to this point.   A little further down the road are the two biggies:  Stephen Starsburg and Bryce Harper.  Those two will likely be mega-deals, which likely made the negotiations with Zimmermann much tougher.

Zimmermann’s attitude and focus are clear.  There are seems to be a small window still available for a longer term deal.

“I’m definitely happy,” Zimmermann said. “I think this means I can just focus on playing baseball and trying to win a World Series.  “If a year down the road or after this season if there’s a long-term deal that works out for both sides, we’d be happy and willing to do it,” Zimmermann said. “This is just a small little deal that takes us away from the arbitration. Now I can focus on baseball and not have to worry about the other stuff.”

Zimmermann had a fantastic 2013 season, arguably the best in the rotation, posting a 19-9 record with a 3.25 ERA, that included 4 complete games and 2 shutouts.  In 213.1 innings, Zimmermann fanned 161 batters compared to 40 walks.    In five season with the Nats, Zimmermann is 43-35 with 3.40 ERA.

Similarly, Desmond just agreed to a two year deal as well.  His deal is for $17.5 million over the two years.  Just like Zimmermann, the two sides were too far apart at the time to agree to any long term deal.

Desmond batted .280 last season with 38 doubles, 3 triples, and 20 home runs.  He had a ..31 on base percentage and a .451 slugging percentage.  The two year deal also takes Desmond to free agency in 2015.

Other Arbitration Updates:

Drew Storen:  Signed a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.

Ross Detwiler:  Signed a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.

Stephen Strasburg:  One year deal to avoid arbitration.

Only player remaining on the arbitration list is reliever Tyler Clippard.