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Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) as the Washington Nationals play the Atlanta Braves during spring training at Champion Stadium, Kissimmee, Fla., Tuesday, February 26, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Nationals Watch

Nats avoid arbitration with Ian Desmond, Jordan Zimmermann

The Nationals had two potential long-term contract extension candidates entering the offseason. On Friday, they avoided arbitration with both right-handed pitcher Jordan Zimmermann and shortstop Ian Desmond for the next two seasons. But, for now at least, that’s as far as it goes. Zimmermann signed a two-year deal worth $24 million. Desmond gets a two-year deal worth $17. 5 million. Extensions are still possible for both players, if less likely. Zimmermann and Desmond would be free agents after the 2015 season.