The Washington Nationals extended a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer to right-handed pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, the team reported. Washington also gave the offer to shortstop Ian Desmond.
If Zimmermann or Desmond accept the qualifying offer, they will be under contract for $15.8 million next season. If they decline and sign somewhere else, the Nationals will receive a compensation draft pick for the loss of each player.
The two players will both decline and test the market this winter. Once they decline, Zimmermann and Desmond could re-sign a multi-year deal with the Nationals even though they declined the qualifying offer.
Regardless, Zimmermann and Desmond will keep their ears open to all offers as they look for as much money as they can get with the best possible team.
Desmond, 30, was drafted in the third round of the 2004 MLB Draft by the Montreal Expos, who eventually became the Nationals.
Last season, the infielder hit .233 with 19 home runs and 62 RBI over 156 games played.
Back in 2012, Desmond was an All-Star. Over 130 games, he hit .292/.335/.511 with 25 home runs and 73 RBI. The 30-year-old, however, had his best season in 2014 with 24 home runs and 91 RBI, but his bat struggled with a weak .255 batting average.
Zimmermann, a 29-year-old, went 13-10 with a 3.66 ERA over an MLB-leading 33 starts for 2015. The righty threw 201.2 innings and dominanted with 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings.
The second round pick in the 2007 MLB Draft by the Nationals had his best season in 2014, an All-Star season. Zimmermann went 14-5 with an outstanding 2.66 ERA and 1.072 WHIP.
Most of the American League East, along with the Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Nationals, just to name a few, will have intrest in the starting pitcher. Only time will tell for Zimmermann and Desmond.