Washington Nationals News: Tigers sign former Nats starter Jordan Zimmerman


Today’s District Daily discusses the first big Washington Nationals free agent off the board and the team’s new assistant hitting coach.

Good afternoon DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

We start off today’s Daily with some news that few Nationals fans want to hear but that we all knew was coming sooner or later this offseason. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Detroit Tigers have agreed to a deal with free agent and former Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann.

Zimmermann, 29, became a free agent after he rejected the Nationals’ 1-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer earlier this offseason. The right-hander is the first high-profile free agent to leave the Nationals this offseason, with Ian Desmond and Denard Span likely signing with other teams at some point soon as well.

While the Nationals didn’t show much interest in re-signing Zimmermann this offseason, it’s a significant blow for the team to watch one of its homegrown stars leave for another team. Zimmermann has been with the Nationals since the team drafted him in 2007 and has since then grown into one of the best pitchers in baseball.

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Zimmerman went 13-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 2015 — a season many considered to be a “down year” for the right-hander. He went 14-5 with a 2.66 ERA in 2014, and pitched one of the best seasons of his career in 2013, when he went 19-9 with a 3.25 ERA.

According to Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi, the deal is expected to be for five years and $110 million. The Nationals still have several players on the free agent market, including star shortstop Ian Desmond and center fielder Denard Span.

Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s James Wagner discusses Jacques Jones, the Nationals’ new assistant hitting coach.

Jacque Jones on joining the Nationals as assistant hitting coach

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

For the first time since an extra coach was allowed on major league teams in 2013, the Nationals will have two hitting coaches on one staff in 2016. Rick Schu returns as the Nationals hitting coach and will have help in the form of assistant hitting coach Jacque Jones, who spent 10 years in the majors as a lefty-hitting outfielder and has spent the past several years as a minor league hitting coach.

Jones, a San Diego native and Southern California alum hit .300 in two of his seven seasons with the Twins. In 2002, his best season as a major leaguer, Jones hit .300 with 27 home runs, 85 RBI and posted a .852 OPS while playing left field on a division-winning team. Jones spent two seasons with the Cubs, where he became close with new-Nationals Manager Dusty Baker. Jones retired after the 2008 season, finishing as a .277 career hitter with four 20-homer seasons. Read full article here.