Add New York Post writer Joel Sherman to the list of reporters whose sources are telling him the Washington Nationals are willing to deal 28-year-old starter Jordan Zimmermann this winter.
In an article discussing the pursuit of free agent right-hander Max Scherzer, Sherman wrote on Friday that a trade could affect the market for the 30-year-old starter.
"The Nationals are said to be seriously considering trades for Jordan Zimmermann," Sherman noted, "with one AL executive saying, 'They seem very motivated to deal him.'"
Though they are "prioritizing winning now," the New York Post baseball writer adds, as of now the Nats have Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Denard Span, Ian Desmond and Tyler Clippard headed for free agency after the 2015 season and the Nationals don't want to, "... risk having all of those players leave and receiving nothing in return, and their attempts to sign Zimmermann long term have fallen flat."
Of course, the Nationals would likely receive draft pick compensation if the players listed above finished out the season, received qualifying offers and hit free agency, so it's not "nothing in return."
But trading Zimmermann could potentially bring more in return, like the second baseman that Washington's after this winter, "... plus prospects," and the Nationals could then, "... sign Scherzer," Sherman writes, "who was drafted by their current general manager, Mike Rizzo, when Rizzo ran Arizona’s draft."
After mentioning the Cubs as a potential trade partner should they decide to make a trade, Sherman quotes "an AL official who is convinced the Nationals are trading Zimmermann" who says, "'I don’t think they want to tie up big payroll with a starter like Scherzer. I think they like [their big pitching prospects Lucas] Giolito and [A.J.] Cole and just wait for them.'"
The Washington Post's James Wagner wrote last week that though the Nats and Zimmermann have discussed a long-term deal in the past, and did so again last winter before agreeing on a two-year/$24M deal that bought out the final two years of the righty's arbitration eligibility, "the Nationals and Zimmermann’s agent have not picked extension talks back up."
Zimmermann, for his part, told the WaPost reporter he has never said he didn't want to stay in the nation's capital, but, "'...the deal has to be right and the deal has to be fair and that’s all I’m asking for.'"
Zimmermann: "I never once said I didn’t want to stay in D.C. But at the end of the day, the deal has to be right." http://t.co/7iJSjNkrRz— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) November 20, 2014