A day after NatsFest, an event which was so popular that some fans unfortunately were held back from entering for an extended period because the Walter E. Washington Convention Center was filled to capacity, there are still plenty of tidbits to pass along from conversations with a number of Nationals players.
First, a few more injury notes.
Jayson Werth says that his left wrist, which he broke early last May, is not completely healed, but feels good enough that he can play and still be effective. Werth said that doctors have told him the injury usually requires 18 months to fully heal, meaning he’ll likely go through the entire 2013 season without having full strength in the wrist.
Still, he says, he expects to produce and see his power numbers rise now that he’s not needed to hit leadoff after the acquisition of Denard Span.
Chad Tracy had his knee scoped this offseason, but perhaps more importantly, says he doesn’t expect any lingering issues when it comes to a groin injury which knocked him out of 55 games last season. Tracy has been rehabbing the knee, and says he feels good to go for spring training.
Same goes for Ian Desmond, who landed on the disabled list during the second half of last season with an oblique injury and also battled a hamstring issue. Desmond says the oblique feels great and he’s been ramping up his workout program to try and eliminate the leg injuries.
Desmond is one guy who general manager Mike Rizzo has been asked about quite a bit lately. The Nationals shortstop agreed to a $3.8 million deal for 2013 earlier this week, avoiding arbitration, but Rizzo has said he’d be open to working out a multi-year deal with Desmond, who had a breakthrough 2012 season, batting .292 with 25 homers and 73 RBIs.
For his part, Desmond said he’s also open to such a deal, although it doesn’t appear the two sides have gotten too deep into talks at this point.
“I have no intention of leaving Washington D.C.,” Desmond said. “This is a place I’ve been since day one. Obviously this is a business, and as we get there, we’ll cross that bridge. But as of right now, I’m happy with where I’m at, I got the contract that I wanted (for 2013) and we’re going to see how it all unfolds.”
Jordan Zimmermann is another guy who the Nationals could look to sign to an extension, but Zimmermann’s situation is complicated a bit by the fact that he’s yet to agree to terms on a contract for the upcoming season.
The righty, who is arbitration-eligible for the first time, is reportedly seeking $5.8 million for 2013, while the Nats have reportedly offered $4.6 million. Zimmermann says he’s actually enjoyed the negotiation process and has been getting updates from his agent regularly, but he’s unsure if he’ll be able to reach terms with the Nats before the two sides have to go to an arbitration hearing.
“We’ll see. We’re kind of hung up right now,” Zimmerman said. “We’ll see what happens, but we definitely want to get this deal done and move on. ... If we have to go (to arbitration), we’re ready to go. Obviously, we feel we have a pretty strong case, and we’ll see what happens.”
Like Desmond, Zimmermann is open to talks of a multi-year deal, but coming off two straight years with a sub-3.20 ERA, his value is high right now, and if he stays healthy, could demand a hefty contract should he hit the open market after the 2015 season.
“I mean, I would be interested,” Zimmermann said. “Obviously, we’ve got to get the one-year deal done first and if the multi-year deal comes and it’s the right deal, we’ll take it. But if not, we’ll definitely wait.”