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Nationals avoid arbitration by agreeing to deals with trio

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The Canadian Press
1/17/2014 8:57:35 PM
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WASHINGTON -- Right-handed starter Jordan Zimmermann's $24 million, two-year contract and shortstop Ian Desmond's $17.5 million, two-year deal were among a half-dozen agreements reached by the Washington Nationals on Friday to avoid arbitration.

Zimmermann and Desmond are two homegrown cornerstones of the Nationals, who essentially bought out both players' last two arbitration years. And both deals are worth much more in the second season: Zimmermann will make $7.5 million in 2014, then $16.5 million in 2015; Desmond gets $6.5 million in 2014, then $11 million in 2015.

Other players agreeing to contracts with the Nationals, all for just 2014, included former closer Drew Storen, catcher Wilson Ramos and lefties Jerry Blevins and Ross Detwiler.

Storen got a base salary of $3.45 million, with a chance to earn $1 million in performance bonuses based on the number of games he finishes. Ramos' deal is worth $2.095 million, Blevins' is worth $1.675 million, and Detwiler's is worth $3 million.

Two other Nationals players submitted salary arbitration figures: right-handed starter Doug Fister, who was acquired from the Detroit Tigers in a trade this off-season, and right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard.

Fister, who made $4,075,000 while going 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA over 208 2-3 innings last season, asked that his salary more than double to $8.5 million, while the Nationals offered $5.75 million. Clippard asked for a raise to $6.35 million from $4 million; the team offered $4.45 million. Clippard was 6-3 with a 2.41 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 71 innings in 2013.

Zimmermann went 19-9 with a 3.25 ERA over 213 1-3 innings last season for the Nationals, who went 86-76 and finished second in the NL East, failing to reach the playoffs.

Desmond hit .280 with 20 homers and 80 RBIs in 2013, along with a career-best .971 fielding percentage. He was an NL All-Star in 2012, when he hit 25 homers and helped Washington win its division.

Ramos hit .272 with 16 homers in only 287 at-bats, missing time because of leg injuries.

Storen was 4-2 with three saves and a 4.52 ERA in 61 2-3 innings in 2013, when he also was sent to Triple-A Syracuse in July for a brief stint in the minors. He had 43 saves in 2011, missed the first part of 2012 because of right elbow surgery, then switched to a setup role last season after Washington signed Rafael Soriano.

Detwiler was 2-7 with a 4.04 ERA in 2013, splitting time between the rotation and bullpen.

Washington got Blevins from the Oakland Athletics in a trade last month. He was 5-0 with a 3.15 ERA in a career-high 67 games in 2013.

Jordan Zimmermann (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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