According to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post, the Nationals have had preliminary discussions with SFX about a potential extension for starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann. The team has not addressed Zimmermann directly yet, according to Zimmermann himself, but he says “[He'd] be interested.” However, Zimmermann sounds determined not to let it get to his head. “I’ll just play it out and see what happens,” he says. “I’m just going to go out and pitch the way I can pitch. Everything will take care of itself.”
A second-round draft pick of the Nats in 2007, Zimmermann has proved that he does indeed deserve some long-term security, and perhaps some dollars to go with it. He has recorded a 12-19 record for his career, recording a 3.74 ERA. Several of the losses have been due to lack of run-support, so don’t let that influence your opinion on a potential deal. After missing 2008 recovering from Tommy John Surgery, Zimmermann has recovered well and shown no other significant health problems to this point. Knock on wood, it’s safe to say his elbow problems are behind him, and he’s ready to be a dominant pitcher for years to come.
At 25, Zimmermann will be eligible for his second year of arbitration after 2012, and will be under team control until after 2015 because of his Super Two Status. However, that leaves Zimmermann as a 28-year-old free agent, and at this point it would be wise for the Nationals to sign the righty into his early thirties. The sky is the limit regarding his potential, and even if he pans out to be average, those results would still be worth the dollars issued, assuming that he gets roughly what other young pitchers have got in recent extensions, such as Jon Lester and his 5-year, $30-million, or Ricky Romero and his 5-year, $30.1-million. An average of $6-million is a pretty good bargain for a pitcher who will presumably reach over 170 innings in each year of his contract and will keep his ERA south of 4.00. Hopefully Jordan Zimmermann is around for a long time in Washington. You can see him pitch tomorrow night against the Houston Astros at 7:05 at Nationals Park.