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Report: Cubs in Talks with Nationals for Jordan Zimmermann

Courtesy of USA Today Images

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that the Chicago Cubs are in conversations with the Washington Nationals to acquire stud starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann. 

One source said the teams have enough mutual interest that names have been discussed. Another said he expected the Cubs to complete the deal – along with Cardinals free agent Justin Masterson, who blamed minor injuries for season-long struggles in 2014 after a 2013 All-Star season.

These talks don’t appear to be in the beginning stages and could potentially be finalized at some point soon. The two sides are currently talking specifics during the general manager meetings in Arizona.

Zimmermann, 28, is currently the ace of a Nationals pitching staff that includes Stephen Strasburg. He went 14-5 with a 2.66 ERA in 199.2 innings last season. That performance came on the heels of Zimmermann leading the Majors with 19 wins in 2013. He’s averaging around 200 innings, 170 strikeouts and 15 wins over the course of the past three seasons.

Chicago, who has also been linked to Jon Lester this offseason, could very well see Zimmermann as a cheaper and young alternative. He’s set to make $16.5 million this upcoming season before hitting free agency next offseason. In order to acquire the star starting pitcher, it’s likely the Cubs would have to part with one of their young infielders in the deal and get some sort of an assurance that he would sign an extention with the team.

Photo: CSN Bay Area