The Washington Nationals are a team that is built on its starting pitching. No team in baseball has a stronger 1-5 in their rotation than the Nationals. The thing is, because of that pitching, and because of how young it is, it’s going to be time to start paying their guys the big bucks. One of those guys is Jordan Zimmermann.
The way you win these days is finding young, powerful arms, and developing them. That’s how the Nationals have emerged among baseball’s elite. That’s why the San Francisco Giants have won two of the last three World Series. Once those guys develop, you need to either keep them, or trade them for younger players. The Nationals are in a position to lock him up for the long-term.
Zimmermann set career highs in wins (12), ERA (2.94) and innings (195 2/3) last season, striking out 153 batters along the way. If the Nationals don’t lock him up now the price tag could go up. The Nationals can also buy out some of his arbitration years, which can save the organization some headaches of going through the process while simultaneously giving Zimmermann the security of a deal.
The Nationals, sooner than you think, are going to have to deal with Stephen Strasburg’s contract. Considering the deal that Felix Hernandez will sign, and the deal that Clayton Kershaw could sign, maybe as soon as over the next couple of weeks, Strasburg may even get a bigger deal. The price of starting pitching is escalating. Because of this, locking up Zimmermann sooner, rather than later, would be smart on the part of the Nationals.