Wire Taps: Will The Nationals Lock Jordan Zimmermann And Ian Desmond Up?

Dilip Vishwanat

Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals couldn't agree on all the language in the major league deal he signed after he was drafted. Will the two sides settle that situation before it comes to a head? Will the Nats give Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond extensions? Pre Hot Stove chatter...

Not too many rumors about the Washington Nationals the last few days, but there has been a bit of contract chatter. First, the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore wrote about a previously unreported and as-yet-unresolved "aspect" of Bryce Harper's contract with the Nats that could potentially lead to a grievance hearing as the 21-year-old slugger and his agent, Scott Boras, assert the 2010 no.1 overall pick's right to opt out of the major league contract he signed in 2010 and go to arbitration before the 2015 campaign. That story got all the headlines this weekend.

The BIG STORY on Monday came from FOXSports.com's bow-tied reporter, Ken Rosenthal, who wrote about the continuing talks between the Nationals and two of their homegrown stars who are line for extensions, 27-year-old starter Jordan Zimmermann and 28-year-old shortstop Ian Desmond. Will the Nats "take care of their own" before they start spending on free agents? Are Zimmermann and Desmond both locks for long-term deals? The Nats have been open about talking to both in the past, will they finally get the extensions done this winter? Read that story and everything else Nats-related we could find below. Links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "Zimmermann, 27, is ninth in the majors in ERA and 13th in ERA-plus over the past three seasons. Desmond, 28, has produced 10.0 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) the past two seasons..." - "Will Washington Nationals pay up to keep pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, shortstop Ian Desmond?" - Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports on MSN

• NATS BEAT:

• "Harper’s first true taste of specialized left-handed pitchers came in professional baseball." - "Examining Bryce Harper’s performance against left-handed pitching" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Truth be told, the eight guys who filled out Davey Johnson’s regular lineup during the second half of the 2013 season were productive enough to win." - "Does the Washington Nationals’ lineup need to be upgraded?" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Assuming the Nats go with the standard five-man bench in 2014, that will leave them with seven roster spots for relievers." - "Nationals Pastime: A battle for bullpen spots" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Espinosa also dealt with a broken right wrist, which certainly didn’t help matters. All in all, 2013 was a tough year for the 26-year-old." - "Washington Nationals roster review: Danny Espinosa" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

• "Souza, who was added to the Nationals’ 40-man roster last month, saw action in only 11 games but posted a .357/.426/.476 slash line." - "Nationals prospects wrap up Arizona Fall League play" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "The Nationals opened 2013 with a $114 million payroll, which ranked 12th in the majors. And it’s only going to keep rising in 2014." - "Washington Nationals’ 2014 payroll will exceed $120 million" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama):

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "The Nationals have a very good team with a deep lineup, strong rotation, and solid bullpen. I don’t think they have to change very much at all to be championship contenders." - "The Screwball: Where do runs come from?" - Jesse Spector, Sporting News

• "In Washington, D.C., at Nationals Park, many have attacked the design of the statues for Washington baseball legends Walter Johnson, Josh Gibson and Frank Howard." - "What does it take for a sports legend to get a statue?" - Thom Loverro, SportsonEarth.com

• "Washington outfield prospect Billy Burns — and not generationally fast Cincinnati prospect Billy Hamilton — was 2013′s overall top basestealer by the first methodology used here." - "The Best Minor-League Basestealers of 2013, Probably" - Carson Cistulli, FanGraphs Baseball

• NATSTOWN/MINORS:

• "The Nationals recently completed their first strength and conditioning camp for prospects at their training facility in Viera, Fla." - "Eating Right: Nationals have made nutrition a top priority" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "If the Nats tried to trade every player in the organization, who would get the biggest value in return?" - "Nats Trade Value Power Rankings" - Justin Howard, Red Porch Report

• "While fan challenge winners Brady Doyle and Bella Ronca may not be able to snag line drives or smash home runs as well as Ryan Zimmerman, they proved that that they could take down the Nationals third baseman in an Xbox battle." - "Nationals Buzz: Fan challenge winners take down Ryan Zimmerman in Xbox battle" - Olivia Witherite, MASNSports.com

• "Monday Quickie - really quick" - Harper, Nationals Baseball


• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "Fred Wilpon said it was 'painful' watching Mets games last season." - "Mets ‘painful’ to watch last season: Wilpon" - Dan Martin, New York Post

Braves: "Tim Hudson fulfilled a childhood dream as he spent the past nine seasons pitching for the Braves. But it appears the veteran pitcher will end his career elsewhere." - "Pitcher Tim Hudson on verge of leaving Braves for Giants" - Mark Bowman, braves.com: News

Marlins: "Scott Boras, Fernandez's agent, has pointed out there is risk in too much too soon for the hard-throwing right-hander." - "Inbox: Will Jose Fernandez be kept on innings limit?" - Joe Frisaro, marlins.com: News

Phillies: "Earlier today, the Phillies and catcher Carlos Ruiz agreed to continue their partnership by agreeing to a three-year contract worth $26 million." - "Some Thoughts on the Carlos Ruiz Contract" - Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley

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