Washington Nationals News: Ian Desmond And Jordan Zimmermann Reject Qualifying Offers

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Coming into the 2015 season, it was expected that shortstop Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann would be playing their final season in the Nation’s Capital. Today, they took another step in their departure from DC as they officially rejected the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Washington Nationals by the 5 PM ET deadline, according to James Wagner of the Washington Post and William Ladson of MLB.com

By rejecting the offers, Desmond and Zimmermann can sign with any club. However, if another team signs them,, that team will have to forfeit their highest draft pick and the Nats will get a compensatory pick in between the first and second round in next June’s MLB Draft. Currently, the Nationals will select 18th in the draft unless they sign a free agent attached to a qualifying offer.

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Desmond was drafted in the third round of the 2004 draft when the Nats were known as the Montreal Expos. In his seven seasons with the Nationals, the now 30-year-old shortstop had a career batting average of .264, hit 110 home runs and had 432 RBI’s.

It was a down year though for the three-time Silver Slugger and a 2012 All-Star as he hit .233 with 19 home runs and 62 RBI’s. Desmond’s struggles continued n the field as well as he made 27 errors, which was the second most he has had in any season of his career (34 in 2010). Despite those struggles, the Nats will likely lose one of the core members of their team and one of the leaders in the clubhouse. Desmond talked about his free agency plans in an interview with MLB Network Radio earlier this week:

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When you look at Jordan Zimmermann’s career in DC, he went 70-50 in seven seasons with a 3.32 ERA over 178 starts. He is currently tied with Livan Hernandez for the most wins in a Nationals’ uniform. Washington selected him in the second round of the 2007 MLB Draft.

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In what will likely be his final season in DC, the 29-year-old right-hander went 13-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 33 starts. The two-time All-Star (2013 and 2014) is one of the top pitching free agents on the market this winter along with David Price, Johnny Cueto, and Zack Greinke. Both Desmond and Zimmermann have had their share of great moments with the Washington Nationals and it will be interesting to watch how their careers progress when they eventually sign with another organization.

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