Jordan Zimmermann, the Washington Nationals' All-Star pitcher who is entering free agency, says he won't be back to the Nats -- but he had a heartfelt message to fans as he left.
"It's difficult putting into words the feelings of appreciation I have for the love and support I've felt over the past seven years," Zimmermann said in a message tweeted by his agent, Mark Pieper.
"The same level of commitment and passion that you fans showed me every game I took the ball is what I placed in every pitch I tossed wearing a Nationals uniform," he said. "My only regret is that we were not able to bring a championship to the fans of this great city this season."
The news of Zimmermann's departure was expected, but bittersweet to fans who had high expectations for the Nats this season. The team barely finished above .500 and failed to make the playoffs.
Shortstop Ian Desmond also is becoming a free agent and is expected to leave the team. Sunday, Desmond grew emotional as he told reporters, “I’m extremely proud to say that I was a Washington National," according to the Washington Post.
Pitcher Doug Fister and center fielder Denard Span also are entering free agency -- making for an interesting off-season for a team, once picked to win the World Series, with nothing to do but personnel moves in October.