Arbitration is often a dirty word in MLB realms because it is a place where a player’s contract for that particular seasons is left up to the court. The Washington Nationals avoided arbitration with six players on Friday, but they were not able to come to terms with SP Jordan Zimmermann.
Zimmermann has asked for $5.8 million from the Nationals while the club has filed to give the starter just $4.6 million in 2013. Something will have to give, but if I’m Washington, I bite the bullet and give him the money, given his recent success.
The starter began his big league career with a win versus the New York Mets where the 6’2″ rookie went six innings, giving up just two earned runs. However, the rest of his rookie campaign wouldn’t be so successful. He finished 3-5 with a 4.63 ERA. After entering the 2009 season with no issues, the right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery in August of that same year.
The Nationals were devastated, but he would return with a vengeance in 2011 as he didn’t skip a beat pitching in 26 starts that summer.
Since the surgery he has started 58 games, pitching in 356 innings and maintaining an ERA just an inch above 3.00 along with 20 wins. 2012 was especially special because Zimmerman had an ERA of 2.94 along with career highs in strikeouts and wins.
Accompanied by Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, I have no doubt that Zimmermann would be the best three starter in the game. Stay tuned to see if Zimmermann gets his wish or if the Nationals win the arbitration battle in 2013.