Nationals, Zimmermann Avoid Arbitration
It appears as though the Nationals have completed their offseason activity, finally answering what was the final remaining question mark on the team by signing #3 starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann to a one-year, $5.35 million deal, tweets Bill Ladson. J-Zim had career bests in almost every category last season, his fourth MLB season, and second since receiving Tommy John surgery. He was 12-8 with a 2.94 ERA in 32 starts with a 1.170 WHIP. That ERA was seventh in the NL (10th in MLB), and the WHIP was 11th in the NL and 20th in all of baseball. For a third starter, those numbers sure aren’t bad.
Zimmermann is among several key young players on the Nationals’ roster whose time for a long-term extension is drawing closer. J-Zim, Stephen Strasburg and Ian Desmond lead a young core of Nationals that also includes Ross Detwiler, Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos, all of whom will be arbitration eligible in 2014. Without contracts, Detwiler, Desmond and Ramos will become free agents in 2016, and Strasburg and Espinosa will in ‘17. A little further down the road, Bryce Harper will be arb-eligible for the first tome in 2016, and could be a free agent in ‘19.
I predict that, by the end of the calendar year, Zimmermann and Desmond will have signed lucrative, multi-year extensions with the team (barring any injuries or other setbacks). Should the Nats lock these young players up long-term, they will have no problem in future offseasons only needing to pursue one to three big moves via trade or free agency, like this year;