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Matt Williams talks Nationals' starter Jordan Zimmermann, rumors of interest

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Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams talked to MLB Network Radio this afternoon about wanting to keep Jordan Zimmermann in D.C., but he acknowledged when he spoke to reporters that the Nats are at least listening to offers for the righty...

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With rumors of interest in Washington Nationals' starter Jordan Zimmermann on the Texas Rangers' part and reports of reluctance to part with the right-hander on the Nats' end, it was obviously going to be a topic of discussion when Nats' skipper Matt Williams appeared on the MLB Network Radio show "Inside Pitch" this afternoon.

In the conversation with "Inside Pitch" hosts Casey Stern and Jim Bowden, Williams said he looked forward to being able to hand Zimmermann the ball every fifth day this season after he watched the 28-year-old '07 second-round pick go (14-5) in a +5.2 fWAR campaign in 2014 in which he posted a 2.66 ERA, a 2.68 FIP, 29 walks (1.31 BB/9) and 182 Ks (8.20 K/9) in 32 starts and 199 ⅔ IP.

"It's great to write his name in the nine-hole every fifth day," Williams said.

"[Zimmermann is] a homegrown talent who was drafted, developed and certainly has become one of the elite pitchers in all of baseball and I'm glad he's on our club." -Matt Williams on Jordan Zimmermann on MLB Network Radio

"He's a homegrown talent who was drafted, developed and certainly has become one of the elite pitchers in all of baseball and I'm glad he's on our club. We look to 2015 and say, you know what, if he's on our club, I'm going to love handing him the ball. Stephen [Strasburg] as well, and Doug [Fister] as well and Tanner [Roark] as well and Gio [Gonzalez] as well, but [Zimmermann] is the rock of our pitching staff, for sure, and I look forward to next year and doing that and having him with us and having him go out there every fifth day and giving us a chance to win."

Heading into the 2014 Winter Meetings in San Diego, CA, there were reports, from Washington Post writer James Wagner and FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, among others, which said the Nats intended to make another run at signing Zimmermann to a long-term extension.

The two sides discussed a deal that would keep Zimmermann in the nation's capital last winter, but ended up settling for a 2-year/$24M deal which bought out the last two years of the right-hander's arbitration-eligibility.

Reports from the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego today say the Rangers inquired about Zimmermann, but were told that the Nationals were not inclined to deal the righty:

Williams confirmed when he spoke to reporters this afternoon, that the Nationals are at least "listening" on Zimmermann:

WaPost reporter Adam Kilgore wrote on Twitter earlier today that the Rangers weren't inclined to trade the infielder the Nationals were interested in either:

More quotes from Williams and more rumors to come...