UPDATE: Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that Zimmermann will get $5.35 million.
5:50 PM: Jordan Zimmermann and the Nationals have avoided arbitration with a one-year deal.
Zimmermann requested $5.8 million in his second season of arbitration eligibility and the Nationals countered at $4.6 million after he threw 196 innings with a 2.94 ERA at age 26.
Zimmermann bounced back from Tommy John elbow surgery remarkably well to establish himself as one of the best young starters in baseball and as a “Super Two” player the Nationals still control him via arbitration for 2014 and 2015.
His hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, so the two sides cut it pretty close.
Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani put on a show during Saturday’s matinee against the Cubs. Up 2-1 in the third inning, the hurler hooked a Brian Duensing fastball over the left field fence for his first career home run — and first career grand slam:
Grand slams are impressive no matter the player or situation, but they’re made all the more special in rare circumstances like this one. Not only is DeSclafani the first pitcher to deliver a grand slam in 2018, but he’s the first Reds hurler to do so in nearly 60 years. Per MLB.com’s Brian Scott Rippee, right-hander Bob Purkey was the last to hit a slam for the Reds in 1959, when he took Cubs reliever John Buzhardt deep in the third inning of a 12-3 drubbing.
The 28-year-old righty had a decent outing on the mound as well, holding the Cubs to two runs, four walks, and three strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings before passing the ball to reliever Michael Lorenzen. Entering Saturday, he carried a 2-1 record in three games, with a 4.60 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 across 15 2/3 innings — not too shabby for someone who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016.
The Reds currently lead 8-2 in the bottom of the seventh.