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Nationals, Jordan Zimmermann avoid arbitration with two-year deal

Jan 17, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals - Game Four Getty Images

Dozens of players are agreeing to one-year deals to avoid arbitration, but Jordan Zimmermann and the Nationals are among those inking two-year contracts.

Washington has bought out Zimmermann’s final two seasons of arbitration eligibility for $24 million, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. He’ll get $7.5 million this season and $16.5 million in 2015, at which point Zimmermann will be able to hit the open market as a 29-year-old free agent.

Zimmermann is coming off a fantastic season in which he led the NL with 19 wins and threw 213 innings with a 3.25 ERA and 161/40 K/BB ratio. He has a 3.40 career ERA in 113 career starts, including a 3.12 mark in 90 starts since 2011.

  1. shawndc04 - Jan 17, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    That’s more than I thought he would get, but good news for us Nationals fans and a nice job by the owners. He’s a bulldog and is the toughest guy in the rotation.

    • natstowngreg - Jan 17, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      Agreed, but this is (or should be, IMHO) an interim step to a longer-term extension. Something to buy out free agency years.

      Next up for Rizzo: working out something with Ian Desmond. Also, with Doug Fister. Recall that Rizzo worked out an extension with Gio Gonzalez, shortly after trading for him.

      Meanwhile, the Nats’ payroll continues its climb north of $100 million, toward major market territory. Expected, with numerous young players gaining service time.

      • shawndc04 - Jan 17, 2014 at 12:41 PM

        Agreed, Greg. And in that light it’s all the more important to get that awful tv deal resolved with the increase in payroll.

  2. karlkolchak - Jan 17, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Hope this is just a prelude to a longer term deal. Z-nn was the first top notch pitcher to be developed by the Nats after they came to DC and has always been fun to watch.

  3. NYTolstoy - Jan 17, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Their rotation looks stacked

  4. NatsLady - Jan 17, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Also, Desi, Storen and Ramos signed. Desi 2 yrs. The payroll for 2015 is getting loaded up, you have to assume Rizzo figures Soriano and ALR are coming off.

  5. nymets4ever - Jan 17, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    Good to see the Nats’ real ace cash in.

    • natstowngreg - Jan 17, 2014 at 4:46 PM

      Agreed. The fixation is on Stephen Strasburg. IMHO, while Strasburg still has the sky-high ceiling, Zimmermann is a little more consistent and durable.

      It’s not about the 19 wins. Pitching well in 2012, he won only 12. It was about the run support — what Jordan did not get in 2012 and Stephen did not get in 2013.

      Given this rotation’s quality, calling someone an “ace” is sort of meaningless. Gio Gonzalez could have been labeled an “ace” in 2012. Wonderful that the Nats have three guys who could front a rotation. And Doug Fister, who might front a few MLB teams’ rotations, as the 4th starter.

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