Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann has a keen idea of what the expectations are for his team this season. On the heels of signing Max Scherzer, trading for Yunel Escobar, and altering the bullpen a bit, the Nationals are the clear favorites to not only win the NL East, but the World Series.
Via MLB.com’s Jamal Collier:
“If it’s going to be any year, it’s going to be this year and we all know that,” Zimmermann said after tossing two shutout innings against the Braves on Friday. “We’re all getting ready for a big year.”
Zimmermann, who can become a free agent after the season, will be a big factor in the Nationals’ success or failure in attaining their ultimate goal. The right-hander wrapped up the 2014 regular season, following a no-hitter against the Marlins, with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio in 199 2/3 innings.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.