The Washington Nationals will reportedly try once again to sign right-hander Jordan Zimmermann to a long-term deal.
The team has made past efforts to reach a new deal with Zimmermann, who will be a free agent after next season, but to no avail. As recently as two weeks ago, reports also indicated the Nationals were open to trading Zimmermann -- as well as fellow right-hander Doug Fister -- for a "strong return."
According to Wagner, the Nationals and Zimmermann's representatives are set to meet this week to discuss a long-term deal, something they haven't done since last winter when Zimmermann ultimately signed a two-year, $24 million deal for his last two seasons of arbitration. During those negotiations last winter, the two sides were reportedly far apart on a deal and the Nationals were believed to have offered a contract between $60 and $85 million for five years.
Zimmermann, 28, is coming off two straight All-Star seasons. In 2014, he went 14-5 and posted a career-best 2.66 ERA with 182 strikeouts and 29 walks in 199 2/3 innings. He also pitched the first no-hitter in Nationals history on Sept. 28, the final day of the regular season.
Zimmermann has spent his entire six-year career with the Nationals after being a second-round draft pick in 2007. Over that span, Zimmermann is 57-40 with a 3.24 ERA, 739 strikeouts and 182 walks in 892 1/3 innings.
The Nationals went 96-66 last season, winning the NL East before losing to the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants in the NLDS. Washington's team ERA of 3.03 led the majors, and the starting rotation allowed the second-fewest runs per game (3.43), behind only the Seattle Mariners (3.42).
- Mike Fiammetta