The Nationals have a better idea of their salary structure for the 2014 season now after avoiding arbitration with right-handed pitchers Jordan Zimmerann and Drew Storen.
Zimmermann actually gets a two-year deal worth $24 million, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. He will make $7.5 million in 2014 and $16.5 in 2015.
That does not, however, buy out any of his free agent seasons. Zimmermann, 27, will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2015 season. His representatives have been in discussions with Washington about a long-term extension. The current deal does not preclude that.
There are some reasons why the Nats would agree to a deal like this. Zimmermann made $5.35 million in 2013 and was due a big raise this offseason. Another big season could have set Zimmermann up for a total payday above $24 million anyway over these next two years.
The team is likely hedging against arbitration wins for Zimmermann this winter and next, which could easily push his total salary north of $24 million for the next two seasons. It also provides cost certainty for teams looking to trade for Zimmermann after this season if the two sides can’t agree to a long-term extension.
Zimmermann posted a 3.25 ERA in 2013. He was at 2.94 in 2012 and 3.18 in 2011 in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery.
Storen, meanwhile, agreed to a one-year contract worth $3.45 million. On Thursday night Washington agreed to pay left-handed starter Ross Detwiler $3 million in 2014. It is still trying to avoid arbitration with starter Doug Fister, relievers Tyler Clippard and Jerry Blevins, shortstop Ian Desmond and catcher Wilson Ramos.