Jordan Zimmermann Rumors

Nats Considering Extension For Jordan Zimmermann

The Nationals have "dabbled in preliminary conversations" with SFX, the representatives for Jordan Zimmermann according to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post. The team has not yet reached out to the right-hander about a long-term deal, but he would be open to one.

“I haven’t talked to the Nationals about it,” Zimmermann said. “I’d be interested. I’ll just play it out and see what happens. I’m just going to go out and pitch the way I can pitch. Everything will take care of itself.”

Zimmerman, 25, can not become a free agent until after the 2015 season. He was arbitration-eligible for the first time as a Super Two this offseason, and will make $2.3MM this year. Zimmerman missed most of 2010 with Tommy John surgery, but he returned to post a 3.18 ERA in 161 1/3 innings last season. Back in February I suggested that a four-year deal worth $22-25MM could work for both sides.

The Nationals signed Gio Gonzalez (five years, $42MM) and Ryan Zimmerman (eight years, $126MM) to long-term deals this winter.

Extension Candidate: Jordan Zimmermann

The Nationals have been one of baseball's most active teams this offseason, signing both Edwin Jackson and Brad Lidge in addition to trading for and extending Gio Gonzalez. GM Mike Rizzo doesn't have to worry about the top of his rotation for a while since Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg are under control through 2016, but another one of the club's young starters can hit the open market a year earlier.

Icon_12916043Jordan Zimmermann qualified as a Super Two by little more than a week this offseason, meaning he'll be eligible for arbitration four times instead of the usual three. The two sides agreed to a $2.3MM salary for 2012 as our Arbitration Tracker shows, working out a deal before salary figures had to be exchanged. The 25-year-old right-hander broke out last season, pitching to a 3.18 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 with a 39.4% ground ball rate in 161 1/3 innings across 26 starts. His 8-11 record doesn't do his actual performance justice.

Although he has nearly three full years of service time, Zimmermann only has about a year and a half worth of big league starts to his credit. He missed part of 2009 and most of 2010 due to Tommy John surgery, but players do collect service time while on the DL. The injury and subsequent lack of innings kept his salary down this winter, and that will have a trickle down effect in future years since he's starting with a lower base salary.

As our Extension Tracker shows, the typical extension for pitchers with 2-3 years of service time has been in the four-year, $30MM range with one or two club options that buy out free agent years. Jon Lester, Yovani Gallardo, Ricky Romero, Clay Buchholz, Trevor Cahill, and Jaime Garcia all signed contracts with that framework. Zimmermann lags behind those guys in counting stats like innings and wins due to the elbow surgery, though his strikeout and walk rates match up with any of them at the time of their extensions. ERA as well.

A four-year deal for Zimmermann figures to check in a bit under $30MM given his injury history, so perhaps $22-25MM or so. That would cover his four arbitration years, and the club options could come in around the usual $10-12MM based on those similar pitchers. Zimmermann and the Nationals are in a unique position because his salaries are depressed by his elbow surgery, and the team could take advantage of that by signing him long-term at an even further reduced rate.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Tuesday

Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here.  Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing.  Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints.  Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:

  • The Reds announced that they also avoided arbitration with Homer Bailey and Paul Janish (Twitter link). Reds reliever Bill Bray announced that his agents at Octagon finished his deal.
  • The Giants avoided arbitration with Nate Schierholtz on a $1.3MM deal that includes $150K in incentives, Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News tweets. The Giants avoided arbitration with reliever Santiago Casilla, agreeing to a $2.2MM deal with $200K in incentives, tweets Enrique Rojas.  MLBTR had projected the ACES client for a $1.9MM salary.
  • The Pirates avoided arbitration with Evan Meek , agreeing to a one-year $875K deal that includes $25K in performance bonuses,'s Jenifer Langosch tweets.  The Pirates avoided arbitration with starter Jeff Karstens, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, on a deal worth $3.1MM.  MLBTR projected the Moye Sports Associates client for $2.8MM. 
  • The Brewers avoided arbitration with reliever Kameron Loe, reports's Adam McCalvy.  Loe obtained $2.175MM, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets.
  • The Nationals have avoided arbitration with reliever Tyler Clippard, according to their Twitter feed.  The Nationals also announced they've avoided arbitration with pitchers Jordan Zimmermann and Tom Gorzelanny.  Both are represented by SFX.  Zimmermann received $2.3MM, tweets Heyman, and Gorzelanny gets $2.7MM.
  • The Yankees announced pitchers Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson have avoided arbitration.  Jon Heyman has Chamberlain around $1.675MM and Robertson at $1.6MM with $25K in incentives.
  • The Red Sox announced an agreement with infielder Mike Aviles.  It's worth $1.2MM, tweets John Tomase of the Boston Herald.
  • The Athletics announced agreements with their final two arbitration eligible players: pitchers Brandon McCarthy and Joey Devine.  McCarthy will make $4.275MM, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  She says Devine gets $737,500 plus incentives.
  • The Royals announced arbitration deals with pitchers Luke Hochevar, Felipe Paulino, and Jonathan Sanchez.  Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star pegs Hochevar at $3.51MM, Paulino at $1.9MM, and Sanchez at $5.6MM with $200K in performance bonuses.
  • The Marlins avoided arbitration with reliever Edward Mujica, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
  • The Mariners avoided arbitration with reliever Shawn Kelley, reports's Greg Johns.  The deal is worth $600K.
  • The Rays announced they've avoided arbitration with reliever Burke Badenhop on a deal worth $1.075MM.  He gets $25K for 50 games pitched, MLBTR has learned.  Badenhop is represented by ACES.
  • The Rockies avoided arbitration with outfielder Dexter Fowler for $2.35MM, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Tigers announced they've avoided arbitration with pitcher Max Scherzer and outfielder Delmon Young.  Jon Heyman pegs the Scherzer deal at $3.75MM and Young at $6.75MM.  The Tigers also avoided arbitration with utility man Don Kelly, agreeing to a $900K deal, tweets Heyman.  Matt Swartz projected $800K for the LSW Baseball client.
  • The Astros avoided arbitration with starter J.A. Happ on a deal worth $2.35MM, tweets MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith.
  • The Phillies avoided arbitration with infielder Wilson Valdez, tweets's Todd Zolecki.  The team announced the value at $930K.  Given their deal with Cole Hamels, only Hunter Pence remains.
  • The Indians avoided arbitration with reliever Joe Smith and third baseman Jack Hannahan, tweets's Jordan Bastian.  Smith gets $1.75MM and Hannahan gets $1.135MM.
  • The Mets avoided arbitration with outfielder Andres Torres on a deal worth $2.7MM, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.  Matt Swartz had projected $2.5MM for the ACES client.  The Mets also avoided arbitration with reliever Ramon Ramirez, agreeing to a $2.65MM deal, tweets ESPN's Enrique Rojas.  The ACES client was projected by MLBTR for a $2.3MM salary.  The Mets finished up by announcing an agreement with Manny Acosta.  Andy McCullough pegs that one at $875K.
  • The Blue Jays announced they've avoided arbitration with pitcher Carlos Villanueva on a $2.2775MM deal.  Villanueva is represented by SFX.
  • The Royals avoided arbitration with outfielder Mitch Maier, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.  The deal is worth $865K with a potential $10K bonus for 100 plate appearances, tweets Dutton's colleague Rustin Dodd.  Maier is represented by Eric Sobocinski.
  • The Twins avoided arbitration with reliever Glen Perkins, agreeing to a $1.55MM deal, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  Matt Swartz had projected $1.5MM for the SFX client.
  • The Rangers avoided arbitration with reliever Mark Lowe, agreeing to a $1.7MM deal, tweets Evan Grant of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  MLBTR's Matt Swartz had projected the Jeff Frye client at $1.6MM.  The team also avoided arbitration with outfielder David Murphy, tweets Anthony Andro, on a deal worth $3.625MM.

  • David Price Among Those Reaching Super Two Status

    Players with two years and 146 days of Major League service time will qualify for Super Two status, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned.  This was the same cutoff point that was predicted by CAA in April, and as MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith wrote six months ago, it is "a decidedly late cutoff."  In 2010, the cutoff date was two years and 122 days of service, while the 2009 cutoff was two years and 139 days.

    Click here to refresh yourself on the details of the Super Two process, but to summarize, Super Two players will earn a fourth year of salary arbitration (as opposed to the usual three) before reaching free agency.  So, all players with less than three years of service time but at least 2.146 (two years, 146 days) of service time quality as Super Twos.

    This year's crop of Super Twos includes some of the top young arms in the game --- David Price, Rick Porcello, Daniel Bard, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Tyler ClippardRyan Roberts is also a Super Two, so he could be in line for an extra payday in the wake of his breakout 2011 season.

    Nationals Notes: Strasburg, Harper, Zimmermann

    The Nationals expect Stephen Strasburg to return to the Major Leagues one week from today. Here are some links from D.C. in the meantime... 

    • Nationals manager Davey Johnson told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he intends to handle Strasburg with "kid gloves" as the right-hander completes his return from the Tommy John surgery he underwent last September.
    • Livan Hernandez said today that he wants to return to Washington in 2012, even if it means working in middle relief next year, Kilgore reports (on Twitter).
    • Top 2010 draft pick Bryce Harper will suit up for the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League this year,'s Jonathan Mayo writes. Harper, who made it to Double-A in his first professional season, is now recovering from a hamstring injury. 
    • Kilgore suggests Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann could be an extension candidate this offseason. Zimmermann, a likely super two player, came back from Tommy John surgery to put together a fantastic season in 2011, but he has now reached his innings limit for the year.
    • For a look at a key member of the Nationals' front office, check out MLBTR's piece on GM candidate Bryan Minniti.

    NL East Notes: Zimmermann, Marlins, Heyward

    Players with zero to three years of service time are under team control and don't have the power to negotiate their salaries. Most of these players agree to terms with their clubs on deals worth $400-500K, but some don't agree to terms and their clubs renew their contracts instead (it doesn't affect the player's timeline for arbitration or free agency). Here's the latest on the NL East, including news on some contract renewals:

    Greinke Links: Nationals, Yankees, Pavano, Reactions

    It's not often that the Brewers and Royals are the two teams dominating discussion around baseball, but that's exactly what's happening today, after the clubs agreed to a blockbuster deal. Let's check out some reactions and a few more details on the trade that will send Zack Greinke to Milwaukee....

    • According to Yahoo's Tim Brown (via Twitter), the Dodgers were discussing Greinke and even brought a third team into the mix in an attempt to meet Kansas City's needs. Ultimately, they ran out of time.
    •'s Jon Heyman reports that the Royals were close to a deal that would've sent Greinke to Washington, if not for the right-hander's no-trade clause.'s Bill Ladson confirms that Greinke turned down a potential trade to the Nationals (Twitter links). Heyman adds that Drew Storen and Danny Espinosa likely would've been involved in the hypothetical deal (Twitter link).
    • Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post hears that the Royals coveted Jordan Zimmermann, who the Nats were reluctant to give up.
    • Heyman tweets that Greinke approved the Brewers and not the Nats because he believes Milwaukee is closer to serious contention. He's also apparently fond of the city.
    • According to Heyman (via Twitter), Greinke told the Royals that he wouldn't mind playing for the Yankees, but New York never got close to making a trade for the Kansas City ace.
    • The Brewers had some interest in Carl Pavano, who they presumably won't pursue now. As such, the Twins' leverage with Pavano should improve, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
    • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets that the $2MM going to Milwaukee will cover the buyout for Yuniesky Betancourt's 2012 option, if the Brewers choose to buy him out.
    • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports praises Brewers GM Doug Melvin for choosing an established player over prospects. Rosenthal also examines the trade from the Royals' perspective.
    • With Prince Fielder a year from free agency, Melvin saw the team's window for playoff contention closing and moved aggressively to improve the 2011 roster, writes Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
    • Fangraphs' Marc Hulet breaks down the package acquired by Kansas City, noting that their haul is "certainly quantity over quality." In an Insider-only article,'s Keith Law makes a similar point, calling the Royals' return "bulk, and fit, but not impact."
    • Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus and two front office people he spoke to "really like" the move for the Royals (Twitter link).

    Olney's Latest: Greinke, Cabrera, Astros

    In today's blog post at ESPN (Insider req'd), Buster Olney says that the first day of Spring Training acts as an artificial deadline for the Royals to trade Zack Greinke. At that point he will show up to the clubhouse and dominate the team's storyline. Olney likens it to the Johan Santana situation from a few years ago, when the Twins felt pressure to move him before pitchers and catchers reported. He adds that Greinke's performance would then be under intense scrutiny, even during Spring Training, and if he pitches poorly his trade value will plummet.

    Here are the rest of Olney's rumors...

    Rosenthal On Cubs, Greinke, Beltre, Pavano

    The Mariners could presumably ask for a king’s ransom in exchange for Felix Hernandez, but Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports thinks Seattle should build around the reigning Cy Young Award winner, not trade him. Here are the rest of Rosenthal's rumors:

    • The Cubs are still willing to trade Kosuke Fukudome, but they’d likely have to cover some of the $13.5MM the outfielder is set to earn in 2011.
    • Were it not for his salary, the Reds might be a more serious suitor for Zack Greinke. However, a rival executive says Cincinnati is “tapped out,” payroll-wise.
    • The Nationals’ pursuit of Greinke has slowed and one source says it’s because of the team’s reluctance to include Jordan Zimmermann in a potential deal.
    • Adrian Beltre remains a “focus” for the Angels.
    • The Rangers, however, are more inclined to re-sign Vladimir Guerrero and add a first baseman than pursue Beltre, according to Rosenthal’s sources.
    • Don’t expect Texas to spend on a top free agent reliever, even if Neftali Feliz moves to the rotation.
    • Kerry Wood wants a two-year, $12MM deal, Rosenthal reports.
    • Another former Yankee, Carl Pavano, is searching for considerably more. He wants a three-year deal worth $10-11MM per season, one GM says. The Rangers are not pursuing Pavano right now.

    Nationals Aggressively Pursuing Greinke, Garza

    The Nationals are "aggressively pursuing" a trade for Matt Garza or Zack Greinke, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. However, Kilgore’s source doesn’t expect Washington to trade for either pitcher. Earlier today,'s Jerry Crasnick reported that Royals GM Dayton Moore is actively gauging the market for Greinke.

    The Rays and Royals could have interest in Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann, but the Nationals are not likely to move either player. However, Kilgore hears that the team would move Danny Espinosa “in a heartbeat.” Roger Bernadina would be available and it’s possible that the Nationals would consider trading Drew Storen or Sean Burnett, according to Kilgore.

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