Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Zimmermann in line for extension?
By Jason A. Churchill
The Washington Nationals extended the contract of third baseman and clubhouse leader Ryan Zimmerman last February and his near-namesake could be next. Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann is working on a one-year deal for 2013, tweets Amanda Comack of the Washington Times, but the 26-year-old is open to a long-term solution, but the two sides have yet to engage in such talks.
Zimmermann successfully recovered from 2010 Tommy John surgery and has two solid years in a row, posting fWAR numbers of 3.4 and 3.5, respectively, for 2011 and 2012. He posted a career-high 195 innings this past season.
The Nationals have others players worthy of similar extension consideration, including shortstop Ian Desmond, but Zimmermann is eligible for two more arbitration years after this -- he qualified as a Super Two a year ago -- and could get awfully expensive if the club goes year-to-year with him. His 2013 contract is going to be between the $4.6 million the club tendered and the $5.8 million the player requested. In other words, he's headed for $10 million and beyond before hitting free agency after the 2015 season.
One basis for a Zimmermann deal could be the 4-year, $27 million pact the Reds have Johnny Cueto two years ago, which is identical to the one Jaime Garcia received from the Cardinals in July of 2011. With similar service time, San Francisco signed Matt Cain to a 3-year deal worth $27.25 million, suggesting Zimmermann's value may sit somewhere between $8 million and $10 million per season, considering inflation.