"He deserves it," Zimmermann said. "He got what he wanted and felt it was fair and right. I know he is happy. I just talked to him [on the field]. He is excited and happy. I'm really happy for him. He knew it was in the works."
Unlike Strasburg, Zimmermann tested the free agent market after the 2015 season and signed a five-year, $110 million deal with the Tigers. Zimmermann said the negotiations were going well with the Nationals, but they "couldn't agree on a couple of things."
Showing there is no ill will between the two parties, the Nationals flashed Zimmermann highlights on the scoreboard before Monday's game.
"It was great," Zimmermann said. "It means a lot to me. The fans are great. They liked it. It means a lot. It's something I will never forget."
Zimmermann won 70 games with Washington and threw a no-hitter against the Marlins on Sept. 28, 2014.
Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.