Nationals make qualifying offers to Zimmermann, Desmond

Jordan Zimmermann's ERA rose by a full run from 2014 to 2015.

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WASHINGTON — The Washington Nationals have made $15.8 million qualifying offers to two homegrown players expected to leave via free agency, pitcher Jordan Zimmermann and shortstop Ian Desmond.

Teams had until Friday to make the offers. Players have a week to accept – although none has accepted a qualifying offer in the past three offseasons.

If Zimmermann or Desmond signs with another club before the June amateur draft, the Nationals would receive a draft pick at the end of the first round as compensation.


Zimmermann, 29, is a righty who is 70-50 with a 3.32 ERA in the majors. He was an All-Star twice and threw a no-hitter in the last regular-season game of 2014.

Zimmermann went 13-10 with a 3.66 ERA this season.

Desmond, 30, has a .264 average, with 110 homers and 432 RBI. He was an All-Star once and won three Silver Slugger Awards.

He struggled for much of 2015, batting .233 with 19 homers and 62 RBI. Desmond also made an NL-high 27 errors.