VIERA, Fla. — The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a 2013 salary with Jordan Zimmermann on Friday, avoiding arbitration with the right-hander and closing the book on their arbitration cases for the year.
According to a source with knowledge of the agreement, the Nationals will pay Zimmermann $5.35 million this season, a nearly $3 million raise over his 2012 salary.
The Nationals and Zimmermann had been negotiating for some time and both he and general manager Mike Rizzo said earlier this week that the sides had made a little progress toward a deal. The Nationals settled their other six arbitration cases before the filing deadline on Jan. 18.
The sides had been $1.2 million apart when they filed their figures with the league office in January. Zimmermann filed at $5.8 million for the 2013 season and the Nationals had countered with $4.6.
Zimmermann is a candidate for a long-term extension with the Nationals, part of a small group of players that includes shortstop Ian Desmond, that the team would explore extension talks with. During the arbitration process, though, Zimmermann said he was focused on getting the one-year deal done and they’d go from there.
The 26-year-old right-hander was arguably the Nationals’ most consistent starter in 2012, rarely pitching fewer than six innings in a start and finishing the season with a 2.94 ERA over 195 2/3 innings.