The Washington Nationals are open to discussing multi-year contract extensions with right-hander Jordan Zimmermann and shortstop Ian Desmond, but nothing is on the table at the moment, reports James Wagner of the Washington Post:
Zimmermann and Ian Desmond, both important reasons for the Nationals’ success last season and vital pieces of their future, both seem like ideal candidates for multi-year extensions...
Rizzo said he is open to extensions for both but didn’t [say] that definitely would happen. "Any long-term deal that makes sense for us to keep component players, we’re definitely open minded about," he said.
Rizzo also said that the club had approached both players about multi-year deals on separate occasions before and during the season but that they have yet to revisit the subject since those initial discussions.
Both Desmond and Zimmerman are under team control through the 2016 season. If they continue to perform as they did in 2012, their arbitration salaries will continue to escalate, making a multi-year deal that buys out years of arbitration and/or free agency a favorable option.
The Nats agreed on a one-year, $3.7 million deal with Desmond last week to avoid arbitration, but have yet to come to terms with Zimmermann. The right-hander is seeking $5.8 million in salary, and Washington has countered with $4.6 million.
The Nats could very well end up giving Zimmermann a multi-year deal to avoid arbitration -- much like they did with Craig Stammen last week -- but they could go to a hearing as well.