Jordan Zimmermann said last month that he won’t discuss a contract extension with the Nationals once the regular season begins. With Opening Day on the horizon, just nine days away, there hasn’t been any progress made on an extension.
Zimmermann himself said, “It’s not looking good,” as Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington reports. Zimmermann said, “I’m just not going to talk during the season. If something gets done before then — which is probably pretty rare right now — then it gets done.”
Zimmermann, 28, finished fifth in National League Cy Young balloting last season, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio in 199 2/3 innings. The right-hander seems likely to join a free agent class which has the potential to be stocked with elite arms. Teammate Doug Fister, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake, Rick Porcello, David Price, Jeff Samardzija, and Zack Greinke (if he opts out) will all become free agents after the season.
At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.
Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.
The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.
At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).