Eight Nationals file for salary arbitration
Desmond, Zimmermann looking to work out contract extensions
WASHINGTON -- Jerry Blevins, Tyler Clippard, Ian Desmond, Ross Detwiler, Doug Fister, Wilson Ramos, Drew Storen and Jordan Zimmermann were among the 146 players who filed for salary arbitration Tuesday. Salary figures are expected to be exchanged between the players and the Nationals' front office on Friday.
Of the eight players who filed for arbitration, Desmond and Zimmermann are looking for contract extensions. General manager Mike Rizzo has had conversations with Desmond and Zimmermann's representatives, but they are not close to a deal.
Zimmermann already announced that he is not going to take a team discount and will likely sign another one-year deal. Zimmermann was the ace of the Nats' pitching staff last season, going 19-9 with a 3.25 ERA.
Desmond had another solid season in 2013, hitting .280 with 20 home runs, 80 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. For his performance, Desmond received the Silver Slugger Award for National League shortstops. It marked the second consecutive year he won the award.
In a conversation with MLB.com last week, it seemed that Desmond was not in a rush to get a contract extension.
"I played last year [without an extension], I played the year before [without an extension]. I'm not concerned about an extension," Desmond said. "I'm not out there chasing money. I'm not playing for money. Up to this point of my career, from day one going back to the Montreal Expos, I made every single stop along the way. From the Gulf Coast League to Triple-A, I played every single level. I feel like I've earned everything up to this point. I'm going to continue to work whatever the contract situation turns out to be.
"At the end of the day, I did everything I could to earn the money that I got. The money that I get will be the reflection on how I played and the team expects me to do. By no means is it a distraction. Every year, I'm going out to get better. It's as simple as that. No money or media reports can deter me from trying to be the best player for the Washington Nationals."
The Nationals originally had 10 players who were arbitration-eligible, but right-handers Stephen Strasburg and Ross Ohlendorf recently signed one-year deals.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.