Sunday, January 27, 2013

Zimmermann, Rizzo on contract talks

USA Today Sports Images
Jordan Zimmermann went 12-8 with a career-best 2.94 ERA last season.
Though both sides reiterated interest in a long-term extension, both Jordan Zimmermann and Mike Rizzo made it clear yesterday they won't engage in serious talks over a deal like that until they first settle the dispute over the right-hander's 2013 salary.

Zimmermann was the only one of the Nationals' seven arbitration-eligible players who didn't agree to terms with the club a contract prior to the January 18 deadline to exchange arbitration figures. The 26-year-old hurler is seeking a salary of $5.8 million; the Nats countered with an offer of $4.6 million.

The two sides can continue to negotiate a compromise before the arbitration hearing takes place in early-February, but there remain sticking points.

"We're kind of hung up right now," Zimmermann said. "We'll see what happens. We definitely want to get this deal done and move on."

Zimmermann, who made $2.3 million last season as a first-time arbitration-eligible player, set career-best marks in wins (12), ERA (2.94), innings (195 2/3) and strikeouts (153).

Arbitration cases, though, take multiple seasons' worth of performances into consideration and determine a player's salary in large part based on the contract terms of comparable big leaguers.

"We'd like to sort it out before the hearing," Rizzo said. "We're still talking and negotiating. Unfortunately in arbitration, the other teams affect what happens with your case. With Zimmermann's class of pitchers around him, we're waiting to see what we're going to be up against."

No matter how Zimmermann's 2013 salary is determined, the two sides remain interested in a long-term deal that would buy out the right-hander's remaining two arbitration years and some of his free-agency years. Talks originated one year ago and haven't progressed much since.

"I would be interested," Zimmermann said. "Obviously, we have to get the one-year deal done first. If the multi-year deal comes, and it's the right deal, we'll take it, but if not, we'll definitely wait."

Zimmermann, who is represented by the SFX Baseball Group, lets his agents handle the contract talks but stays up-to-date on any negotiations.

"I like being involved and knowing what's going on," he said. "Obviously, he does all the talking and then talks to me. It's a fun little process to be involved in. It's pretty interesting."

38 comments:

NatsLady said...

You have to love JZ, and I think the Nats could lose this one, for their first lost in arbitration in the Rizzo era, if I recall. Most players "don't like" arbitration because they will hear a lot of negative stuff said about them and their record--but JZ is fearless!!! Since he's making millions either way, it's a "fun little process." Yep, I want this guy on our World Series team.

The Retired Journalist said...

They're $1.2 million apart. Split the difference for 2013 and promise to add an extra $600k in one of the later years of a long-term contract.

It's much simpler to resolve when you're sitting at the computer with your Sunday morning coffee. Especially when it's fantasy money, not the real stuff in a real front office.

fast eddie said...

NL:
JZimm may be "fearless", but it still will be a blow to the ego when negative things are said that may linger in your mind long-term. As he says, it's a "fun little process", but I'd much prefer that arbitration be avoided.

sjm308 said...

Retired Journalist - I am willing to go $800,000. Feeling very good about my fantasy bank account. I have always felt the arbitration meeting did not help either side if it got that far. I think if the player wins, he is still upset about whatever was said in the meeting to justify the lower salary. NL might well be right about Justin but I am hoping those fantasy dollars of our will turn into real Lerner dollars. I do understand that Rizzo is a pretty stubborn fellow and I am not sure he will waiver on this.

Good news is, this will be done soon and then all we have to worry about is getting through spring training with no major injuries on our march to the World Series.

Go Nats!!

sjm308 said...

Do I owe Fast Eddie a drink? Not exactly the same but close.

natsfan1a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
natsfan1a said...

Not in my book, sjm. (Not that I actually have a book of drinks owed but you know what I mean.) Traditionally, the jinx thing is where two people speak at the same time. Here, it started with two people posting the same thought at the same time. :-)

natsfan1a said...

(Any typos are due to my cat walking across the keyboard just now. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Laddie Blah Blah said...

"Arbitration cases, though, take multiple seasons' worth of performances into consideration and determine a player's salary in large part based on the contract terms of comparable big leaguers."

There really are no "comparable big leaguers" to JZ, IMO. He is the best no. 3 guy in any rotation in baseball. He is the one guy I would pick on the 2013 Nats to have a breakout year, with 15+ wins and a .250 ERA.

UnkyD said...

Justin who, 308? ;-)

Section 222 said...

The NIDO spreadsheet is here 308 if you're feeling generous. But I tend to agree with 1a that you don't owe for expressing a similar thought on the topic of the post in a different way.

I think JZnn has a great attitude about this. Calling it a "nice little process" shows he's not taking it too seriously. He knows he's going to make a lot of money both this year and in the future. I seriously doubt there's anything they could say about him in the hearing that would faze him much. Like Laddie, I'm looking for him to have a huge season this year.

Espi, on the other hand....

fast eddie said...

sjm308:
Re: that drink, I'll have what you're having.

Tony said...

Medical experts, contract experts, player psychology experts. Are there any kind of experts that don't reside here? Where were you guys during the fiscal cliff?

Section 222 said...

Tony, your attitude is getting tiresome. Of course we're not experts. We're fans who care about the team and enjoy talking about it with each other. No one's forcing you to be here, so get off your high horse and join us, or do everyone a favor and take your snark elsewhere.

Besides, I seem to remember you being certain that Boras was behind the Mets seeking a waiver of the new CBA and ALR needing to get a new agent or a do-over if they succeeded. Oh, I guess you're a labor negotiations or free agency expert or something.

Traveler8 said...

With arbitration, don't they pick one or the other number? I don't think the arbitrator can split the difference, as much as that seems reasonable to us.

Tony said...

Experts here aplenty. People with a sense of humor, apparently not.

Section 222 said...

That's right Traveler. When people are talking about splitting the difference, they are referring to a negotiated settlement before the hearing. If they get to a hearing, the arbitrator picks one or the other number.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Pay the man, Rizz.

SonnyG10 said...

Traveler8 said...
With arbitration, don't they pick one or the other number? I don't think the arbitrator can split the difference, as much as that seems reasonable to us.
January 27, 2013 9:41 AM


You're correct, its one or the other. the arbitrator does not split the difference.

SonnyG10 said...

Dang. I guess I owe 222 a drink. Have to figure out how to input it into the spread sheet.

sm13 said...

After messing with the egos of Storen and Clippard by brining in Soriano, I am hopeful that Rizzo will avvoid bruising another psyche and reach a settlement with JZimm before arbitration. Those arbitration hearings can get ugly, with management getting out its binder showing why the player is not worth the money. I like JZimm's attitude: get this year's deal out of the way and then we can talk long-term (could that be a subtle way of urging Rizzo to avoid going to arbitration with him?).

SonnyG10 said...

The bruising of egos is why I don't like arbitration...for players that I like. As noted earlier in this thread, Rizzo can be stubborn, but I'm glad he's not a wimp. I think in the long run, it is better for the Nats. I just don't want to have JZ ticked off with the Nats.

JamesFan said...

JZim wins this one. He has the advantage. He is also being smart not to go long-term before the short-term deal is set. Getting good advice from his agent.

I do not blame these players from being tough when they have the advantage. The team certainly will not be.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I'm of the opinion that JZimm loses in arbitration. The Nats rewarded him with a $2.3 Mil contract in his first year of arb coming off TJ surgery. Now they are offering double that.

The Nats seem to do their do diligence before making these offers.

I hope they settle before the hearing.

Gonat said...

I think the Nats offer was fair. This is the way the process works under team control work even if it doesn't seem to be fair to the player.

Is JZim worth $10 to $15 million on the open market? He probably is but that's not how the process works before Free Agency.

This is also why the Nats need to get him under a long-term deal.

Section 3, my sofa said...

Back to Viera for a moment, if I may:

I added a worksheet for "Viera Schedule" to show relevant dates in one place, including a link to the broadcast schedule (which might change, hence only a link) and relevant reporting dates, including some folks here who said they'll be there, and when. Just going on memory there, far from inclusive or even accurate, so feel free to add or delete your own names and dates as you see fit.

NIDO Spreadsheet/Viera schedule

Section 3, my sofa said...

I do not blame these players from being tough when they have the advantage. The team certainly will not be.

You don't think Rizzo is a tough negotiator? Tough but fair, maybe?

Section 3, my sofa said...

I can understand how arb hearings can get ugly, but I just don't see that happening here. The team is offering to double his pay, so it's not like they're calling him a bum. They just aren't willing to quadruple his pay, and will argue no one else would, either.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Great job Sofa. I posted my attendance schedule.Thanks.

Section 3, my sofa said...

New Post

NatsLady said...

I wouldn't be surprised if JZ enjoys matching wits and toughness with Rizzo. It's sort of like high-stakes poker.

sjm308 said...

NatsJack - I am going to disagree with you on this one. I just saw some very very ave. pitcher for the Cubs sign a two year 10 million dollar deal. If they look at numbers of other pitchers to decide the arbitration I think you can easily make the case that JZ is "worth" the higher number. I do realize he got a nice raise last year but that should not matter in looking at what he did this past year. Unlike some on here, I am pretty sure you and I will not get into a hissy fit over this.

Steady - we will hopefully share a beer at Justin's sometime this season.

UNKYD - Justins is the neat little bar that I found a couple years ago when my son lived in a condo on 1/2 street. I have been going there for my pre-game refreshment. Great happy hour with excellent craft beers for $3 and two dogs and fries for $5. Much more crowded last year and I expect it to be a zoo this year but I hear they might have a couple new places nearby including a bar opened by the people who run ChurchKey which is one of my favorite watering holes.

natsfan1a said...

Nice work, sofa. (Hey, you're back to sofa again! I must have missed that while I was away. But I digress.) fwiw, at one point I had added links to previous Insider ST guide posts on the "how to" sheet. If you or somebody else with mad spreadsheet skillz could move them to the Viera schedule page it would be awesome. kthxbai.

Section 3, my sofa said...

Back to Viera for a moment, if I may:

I added a worksheet for "Viera Schedule" to show relevant dates in one place, including a link to the broadcast schedule (which might change, hence only a link) and relevant reporting dates, including some folks here who said they'll be there, and when. Just going on memory there, far from inclusive or even accurate, so feel free to add or delete your own names and dates as you see fit.

NIDO Spreadsheet/Viera schedule
January 27, 2013 12:05 PM

Scooter said...

Great idea, Sec3. Thanks.

UnkyD said...

sjm308 said...
NatsJack - I am going to disagree with you on this one. I just saw some very very ave. pitcher for the Cubs sign a two year 10 million dollar deal. If they look at numbers of other pitchers to decide the arbitration I think you can easily make the case that JZ is "worth" the higher number. I do realize he got a nice raise last year but that should not matter in looking at what he did this past year. Unlike some on here, I am pretty sure you and I will not get into a hissy fit over this.
------------
I could be wrong, but I don't think "market value" has any effect on arb value?

Section 222 said...

As the grandfather of the now renamed NIDO/Viera spreadsheet, Sofa/Gorse's excellent additions make me very proud. Thanks guy. There's even a spot for Mark to indicate his schedule if he wants to join the fun. If not, I'm sure someone will fill that info in when he informs us so everyone will have easy future access.

I think we all hope that the JZnn contract never gets to hearing. I tend to agree with NJ that the Nats are pretty careful of their offers and never afraid to face the arbitrator. But the difference is small enough to reach and agreement that will make everyone happy. And I agree that JZnn is smart to want to do that before talking longer term. That's a good tactic in trying to get the Nats to make him a reasonable offer for this year.

peric said...

The Nats seem to do their do diligence before making these offers.

I hope they settle before the hearing.


I am keeping my fingers crossed for the multi-year extension. They need JZimmn safely in the fold and counted against the future books. He's going to be a key part of this rotation for a long time.

peric said...

And I suspect guys like JZimmnn, Desmond et al don't like to mess around. They would like to just concentrate on baseball and winning. Maybe a guy like Grienke likes playing fantasy GM but most of our guys seem to prefer staying focused on the task at hand like laser beams.

There are the Boras clients who probably have no choice ... nevertheless ...
and I think Ted Lerner will be cashing in on some chips he acquired from Mr. Boras very soon ...

Meanwhile, it behooves Rizzo to make it easier for them to do so.

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