Nats avoid arbitration with five players, swap salary figures with Zimmermann

The Nationals have avoided arbitration with left-hander Ross Detwiler, as the two sides agreed to terms on a $2.3375 million deal with performance bonuses for the 2013 season. Detwiler will earn $25,000 if he reaches 200 innings pitched this season, according to’s Jon Heyman.

Detwiler’s agency, CAA Sports, announced the terms of the deal.

Another CAA client up for arbitration, Drew Storen, agreed to a $2.5 million contract with the Nats that includes performance bonuses yesterday.

This was Detwiler’s first time up for arbitration after making $485,000 last season. The 26-year-old lefty went 10-8 with a 3.40 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 164 1/3 innings in 2012, his first full season in the majors.

He beat out John Lannan for the final spot in the Nationals’ rotation out of spring training and, outside of a minor slump in May that landed him in the bullpen for a brief time, Detwiler excelled in the No. 5 spot in the Nationals’ rotation.

Detwiler also stepped up big in the postseason against his hometown St. Louis Cardinals, leading the Nats to a victory in Game 4 of the National League Division Series. He allowed just one unearned run on three hits over six innings, in that must-win game, striking out two and walking three.

The Nationals now need to reach deals with five more arbitration-eligible players: Roger Bernadina, Tyler Clippard, Ian Desmond, Craig Stammen and Jordan Zimmermann.

Update: Make that four Nats players still eligible for arbitration.

Stammen has agreed to a two-year deal with the Nationals, according to his agency, Paragon Sports International.

The 28-year-old right-hander was eligible for arbitration for the first time this year after qualifying as a Super Two. This contract deal buys out two of Stammen’s four arbitration years, but he is still under team control through the 2016 season.

Stammen had a breakthrough year in 2012, posting a 2.34 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 88 1/3 innings of work primarily as the Nationals’ right-handed long reliever.

Update II: Bernadina has agreed to terms with the Nats, as well, avoiding arbitration.

There are now just three Nationals eligible for arbitration - Clippard, Desmond and Zimmermann - who have yet to reach terms for the 2013 season.

Update III: The Nationals have announced they’ve also agreed to terms with Desmond and Clippard.

That leaves Zimmermann as the only arbitration-eligible Nats player yet to sign.

I have confirmed that Stammen’s two-year deal is worth $2.25 million and that Bernadina signed for just over $1.21 million. The Washington Post was first to report the terms of those deals.

Update IV: The Nationals have exchanged salary arbitration figures with Zimmermann. The Nats offered the right-hander $4.6 million, and he countered with a request of $5.8 million, according to

Also according to, Clippard agreed to terms on a $4 million deal for next season. That’s a nice raise for the righty, who earned $1.65 million last season. In arbitration, saves pay, and Clippard’s 32 saves in 2012 probably went a long way towards his large pay bump.

Desmond will earn $3.8 million this season, a source confirms, this after making $512,500 in 2012. Desmond’s breakout season, in which he hit .292 with 25 home runs and 73 RBIs, led to him picking up a nice salary boost, as well. The Washington Times was first to report the terms of Desmond’s deal.

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