It has become almost commonplace for major league teams to lock up talented, cost-controlled pitchers through their arbitration years. And the Nationals are apparently thinking about getting in on the act.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the Nats “have dabbled in preliminary conversations” with the representatives for right-hander Jordan Zimmermann. Nothing is close yet, but the sides could look to strike an agreement by next winter.
Zimmermann, who qualified as a Super Two and thus gained four years of arbitration eligibility, is making $2.3 million this season. The 25-year-old registered a 3.18 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 124/31 K/BB ratio across 161 1/3 innings in 2011 and is off to a superb start in 2012.
The Giants gave 22-year-old left-hander Madison Bumgarner a five-year, $35 million extension last week.
When the Twins announced last week that starter Scott Baker needed an elbow procedure and would miss the rest of the 2012 season, they claimed that his ulnar collateral ligament was fine and that it was his flexor pronator tendon that required repairing.
That was either incorrect or untrue.
According to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger, Baker underwent Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his throwing elbow Tuesday in New York after Dr. David Altchek found significant damage involving the 30-year-old right-hander’s UCL. What was once a six-month recovery is now sure to be a 12-month one.
Baker, 30, registered a solid 3.14 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 123/32 K/BB ratio across 134 2/3 innings last season. But the Twins are all but certain to decline his $9.25 million club option for the 2013 campaign.
From beat writer Tom Singer of MLB.com comes word that right-hander A.J. Burnett is scheduled to join the Pirates’ starting rotation after making one final rehab start Saturday at Double-A Altoona.
Burnett has been on the shelf since suffering a fractured right orbital bone while performing a bunting drill in spring training. He’s made three minor league rehab starts thus far, and hasn’t experienced any lingering issues in or around his right eye.
The 35-year-old was acquired from the Yankees in February for a couple of minor leaguers and cash. He posted a 5.15 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 173/83 K/BB ratio in 190 1/3 innings last year for New York.