It's looking increasingly likely that Jordan Zimmermann will be a free agent for the first time in his career.
Zimmermann, who imposed an opening day deadline to agree on a contract extension this spring, pulled no punches in describing the state of negotiations between he and the Washington Nationals.
"I'm just not going to talk during the season," Zimmermann told reporters Friday. "If something gets done before then - which is probably pretty rare right now - then it gets done. But it's not looking good."
Zimmerman's six-year run in Washington appeared all but over after the Nationals signed right-hander Max Scherzer to a franchise-record $210-million deal this offseason. There's been no indication since the signing that progress has been made in negotiations with Zimmermann over an extension.
The two-time All-Star is set to earn $16.5 million in his final arbitration year this season and figures to headline an elite crop of free-agent starters, a group that could potentially include David Price, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija.
Zimmermann's thrown the fifth-most innings among National League pitchers since 2012, while his 4.4 percent walk rate ranks fourth among qualified starters. The 28-year-old has looked especially sharp this spring, limiting opponents to just two earned runs with a 11:2 K/BB over 13 2/3 innings.