Nats, Zimmermann avoid arbitration

Nats, Zimmermann avoid arbitration
February 15, 2013, 5:45 pm
Share This Post

VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals have come to terms on a one-year contract with Jordan Zimmermann, avoiding an arbitration hearing that was set to be held Tuesday in Arizona.

Terms of the deal aren't yet known, but Zimmermann is expected to earn a sizable raise from his $2.3 million during a breakthrough 2012 season. He had formally asked for $5.8 million when arbitration figures were submitted to MLB offices last month; the Nationals countered with an offer of $4.6 million. [UPDATE AT 7:12 P.M. -- Zimmermann will make $5.35 million.]

The 26-year-old right-hander established himself as one of baseball's best young pitchers, going 12-8 in 32 starts with a 2.94 ERA that ranked seventh in the National League. One more year removed from Tommy John surgery, he hopes to surpass the 200-inning mark this season while further cementing his place among one of the sports' most dominant rotations.

Though this contract establishes Zimmermann's salary for this season, the Nationals remain interested in negotiating a long-term deal with their 2007 second-round draft pick. Talks haven't progressed very far to date, with the two sides unable to find common terms on a contract that would buy out Zimmermann's two remaining arbitration years plus several free agent years.

By getting today's contract finalized, the Nationals managed to avoid arbitration with all seven of their eligible players this offseason: Zimmermann, Ian Desmond, Ross Detwiler, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Craig Stammen and Roger Bernadina. This is the second time in three seasons they've avoided any arbitration hearings after five consecutive years taking players through the legally binding process.