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Will the Nationals give Ryan Zimmerman a $150 million deal?

Aug 30, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

Ryan Zimmerman

Ryan Zimmerman is signed through 2013, so there’s no huge rush to work on an extension, but Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes that his “representative has remained in constant dialogue with the Nationals for the past year.”

Missing two months with a torn abdominal muscle kept talks from picking up, but Zimmerman has hit .363 with a .933 OPS in his last 35 games and has made it clear that he wants to remain in Washington well beyond 2013.

“I have faith that we’ll be able to do something here,” Zimmerman told Kilgore. “I think we’ve had a really good relationship the whole time. I feel like the front-office people enjoy having me here, and I want to be here. I love the fans, I love everyone here. It’s one of those things that I think will work out in the end.”

Zimmerman’s current deal is for $45 million over five seasons and sets him up to hit the open market at age 29, so the next contract will be a huge one whether it comes from the Nationals or another team. Or as Zimmerman put it: “You only get one shot to try to get a big deal; if you’re lucky enough to get one shot, that’s the time you have to get it. This one, it’ll have to be longer than the one I signed before.”

Kilgore points to Troy Tulowitzki‘s 10-year, $158 million extension with the Rockies and Ryan Braun‘s 10-year, $146 million extension with the Brewers as possible comps for Zimmerman, who’s closer to free agency than they were at the time of those deals. He’s not quite at their levels in terms of being a household name, but despite missing a big chunk of this season Zimmerman ranks 11th among all position players in Wins Above Replacement since the beginning of 2009, sandwiched between Miguel Cabrera and Dustin Pedroia (and slightly ahead of Braun).

  1. hoopmatch - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    I’m sick of players who say they love it where they are and want to stay, then ultimately leave for a big contract elsewhere.

    • paperlions - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:51 PM

      Uh huh, because people that love their place of work, regardless of profession, don’t suddenly like somewhere else a lot more when more money is offered, and the place they used to love a lot less when they refuse to match. It isn’t like this is specific to ball players….EVERYONE that is good enough at what they do to be in demand does this EV. ER. E. ONE.

      I’m sick of people expecting ball players to make decisions that they wouldn’t make if faced with it in their own life.

      • bigxrob - Aug 30, 2011 at 1:24 PM

        Except Jered Weaver.

    • nolanwiffle - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:54 PM

      I like the preemptive glumness. He’ll be in DC at least through 2013. Lighten up.

    • JBerardi - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:48 PM

      “I’m sick of players who say they love it where they are and want to stay, then ultimately leave for a big contract elsewhere.”

      What else can a player say, really? “I’ve never really liked the manager here and my wife’s would really like to move back to the west coast”? If you take those statements at face value, you’re being naive.

  2. mvp43 - Aug 30, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    I like how Braun has handled all of his contract negotiations. He let the Brewers know right away that he wanted to spend his entire career in Milwaukee and wolud work hard to be a great player for them. He has done that………… in turn the Brewers initiated a contract extention with years left on his current deal, and they took care of him. I like that……….

  3. Kevin S. - Aug 30, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    If we’re going to call Tulo and Braun comps, we need to quote them properly. Braun received a 5 year, $105 million extension five years before he was due to hit FA. Tulo’s extension is worded a bit oddly on Cot’s, but it’s effectively a 7 year, $112 million extension three years in advance. So it seems unlikely that the Nats would have to commit an additional $150 million to keep Zimmerman in the nation’s capital past 2013. The problem I see is that Washington will have Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Desmond, Storen and Espinosa all in various stages of arbitration when it comes time for any Ryan Zimmerman extension to kick in, and Harper will probably be knocking on the door. Werth is going to already be sucking up a huge chunk of the budget. Are the Nats going to be able to pay Zimmerman and still field enough of a competitive team around him and those players I mentioned? The farm system has to really continue to come through.

  4. xmatt0926x - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    Forget all those other players as comparables. All he has to do is say “dude, please review Jason Werth’s deal. I’ll take 50% more than whatever you gave him.”

  5. schmedley69 - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    He would look good in red pinstripes.

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