Updated at 1:25 p.m.
With the deadline to submit competing arbitration figures to Major League Baseball looming this afternoon, there is likely to be a flurry of activity from the Nationals over the next several hours.
Sure enough, the Nationals have agreed to terms with five of their seven arbitration-eligible players so far today: Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond, who each got 2-year deals; plus Drew Storen, Wilson Ramos and Jerry Blevins, who each signed one-year pacts to avoid arbitration.
The Nationals still have two other arbitration-eligible players, who they hope to sign before today’s 1 p.m. deadline, when both sides must submit competing offers to MLB headquarters: Doug Fister and Tyler Clippard.
In getting Zimmermann to sign a 2-year, $24 million contract right now, the Nationals ensured they won’t have to go through this process again next winter. Zimmermann will earn $7.5 million in 2014, then $16.5 million in 2015, a hefty raise that will make him the second-highest paid player on the roster behind Jayson Werth. He’s still eligible to become a free agent after the 2015 season, though the Nationals remain interested in locking him up with a long-term extension. Negotiations on that front have stalled, but the two sides could resume them anytime they choose.
Like Zimmermann, Desmond is eligible for free agency after 2015, and the Nationals have discussed a long-term deal with him. For now, the shortstop settled for a 2-year, $17.5 million contract that buys out both of his arbitration seasons. Desmond will earn $$6.5 million in 2014 and $11 million in 2015, according to a source familiar with the terms.
Storen agreed to a 1-year deal that will pay him $3.45 million this season. The contract also includes up to $1 million in incentives, with Storen earning the full bonus if he finishes 60 games in 2014, according to sources.
Ramos, meanwhile, gets a 1-year, $2.095 million contract, with incentives that would pay him an extra $105,000 based on plate appearances, according to sources.
Blevins, acquired in a trade with the Athletics last month, agreed to a 1-year deal, though financial terms weren’t immediately known.
Check back for updates on the other two players as the 1 p.m. deadline approaches…