Nats’ Zimmermann avoids arbitration

Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann avoided arbitration Friday evening by agreeing to a one-year, $5.35 million deal with the Nationals.

Zimmermann filed for arbitration at $5.8 million, while the Nationals wanted to pay $4.6 million. The two parties were scheduled to go to arbitration on Tuesday, but Zimmermann hinted early in the week that progress was made regarding a new contract.

“I was happy to get it done. Obviously, if we had to go [to arbitration], we were ready to go. We got the deal we wanted. We are definitely happy it’s over with,” Zimmermann said.

At the moment, Zimmermann and the Nationals are not talking about a contract extension. Since last summer, there has been talk about Zimmermann getting a multi-year deal.

“We are going to take it easy for a few days and just focus on baseball,” Zimmermann said. “As the time comes, we’ll be there to listen. We are just happy that the one-year deal is done and we are going to focus getting ready for the season.”

Zimmermann had his best season to date in 2012, winning 12 games with a 2.94 ERA in 195 2/3 innings. He is considered the third starter in a formidable rotation that includes Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez.

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