Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo says the the team would like to sign both starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann and shortstop Ian Desmond to long-term deals and has had discussions with both.
"We certainly have an interest in getting it done, but I don't know if we'll get it done before spring training," Rizzo said in an interview with MLB.com when asked about extending the two players. "We've made overtures, and we haven't had a deal done yet."
Both Zimmermann and Desmond are currently in arbitration and are signed through 2015, giving the Nationals two more years of team control. In 2013, Zimmermann was paid $5.3 million while Desmond received $3.8 million.
Along with Stephen Strasburg, Zimmermann has been one of Washington's best starting pitchers. Over the past three seasons he has made 90 starts while posting a 3.12 ERA and 1.13 WHIP, striking out nearly four batters for every walk he has issued. Desmond has been an All Star each of the last two seasons, hitting 25 and 20 home runs in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Over those two years, he has a 812 OPS, the best mark by a qualified shortstop in that span.
Rizzo says he is "not concerned" about the possibility either Zimmermann or Desmond could wait until they reach free agency.