In his first full season back (meaning no innings limits) back from injury, Jordan Zimmermann was impressive. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010 and made his return in 2011. He was on a strict innings limit similar to that of Stephen Strasburg's last season. In 2012, he was allowed to just pitch and he did well.
Because Zimmermann did so well, he may be looking for a much higher raise than the Nationals are willing to give him at this point. The team surely wants to see how he performs on a consistent basis, but Zimmermann no doubt wants to earn his money now. He was the only player the team did not get signed to avoid arbitration over the weekend. And as Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington says, it seems unlikely that the two sides will come to an agreement before arbitration.
While the Nationals are not quite willing to give up on negotiations and head to arbitration, they are one of a few teams who will do so on a case-by-case basis. There are teams out there that refuse to negotiate after a player files for arbitration, but the Nats have not set that hard and fast guideline. They could still make a deal happen, it just doesn't seem likely.
Zimmermann went 12-8 with a 2.94 ERA last season. He pitched 195 2/3 innings, the most of his career. Zimmermann made $2.3 million last season and will get a nice raise. The question is simply a matter of how much.
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