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Ryan Zimmerman and Nationals still talking contract extension

Jan 19, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

zimmerman bats Getty Images

Throughout last season there were various reports about Ryan Zimmerman and the Nationals having contract extension discussions and Bill Ladson of reports that the two sides are still talking about a long-term deal.

Zimmerman has two years and $26 million remaining on his current five-year, $45 million contract, so there’s no huge rush for the Nationals to get something done, but they just gave Gio Gonzalez a five-year, $42 million extension despite already having him under control through 2015 and Zimmerman has repeatedly said he wants to play his entire career in Washington.

Of course, Zimmerman also missed 61 games last season with an abdominal tear and hit a good but not great .289 with a .798 OPS when healthy enough to play. When healthy Zimmerman is an excellent all-around player and one of the top handful of third basemen in baseball at age 27, so it would presumably take a deal in excess of $100 million to keep him around past 2013. And knowing agents, he’ll probably ask for more than the $126 million Jayson Werth got from the Nationals last winter.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 19, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Another story related to the common feeling felt around MLB and its fans this offseason: “FOR GOD’S SAKE PRINCE, SIGN!”

    • stex52 - Jan 19, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      It has been an interesting exercise in the free market, hasn’t it? An acknowledged elite hitter, but coming out the same year as the acknowledged best player in the game and into a market that just doesn’t seem to need a lot of first basemen. I have the feeling that all of the GM’s in the game will watch how Prince plays out and what can be learned from the bidding that does go on.

      IMHO, Boras may be sorry to learn that GM’s have become too sophisticated to bid against themselves anymore.

      • xmatt0926x - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        Prince seems like a good guy so I feel kind of bad for saying this but I kind of hope this blows up on Boras like the Madson deal did. The idea that he could always manipulate teams into whatever he wanted needs to be stopped. Also, the way he plays his own clients off eachother when they are each looking for a contract is rediculous. I think players will take notice if this Fielder deal blows up in Boras’ face and maybe young players will begin to realize that the agent works for them, not the other way around.

  2. dcfan4life - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    The Nationals want to sign Zimmerman well past 2013, and he is the face of the franchise, but that would not be a small contract. If somehow the Nats do sign Fielder and Zimmerman, they will have 3 $100 Million dollar players signed in 2 years. Thats a lot guys, and its hard to see that happening. If Zimmerman signs before Fielder, wouldn’t surprise me if the Nats pull out of the running.

  3. kinggw - Jan 19, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    The Nats need to get Fielder signed and then worry about what to do with Zim. He’s not going anywhere so no need to rush into a decision about his future.

  4. brianabbe - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    I do not even think twice about this. Zimmerman is a much higher priority for an extension that Fielder.

    A. He’ll cost less more than likely
    B. His position, body type and skillset make him substantially more likely to age more gracefully (Scott Rolen at worst) than Fielder
    C. Fans don’t get mad about the FA’s you don’t sign, they get upset over the homegrown stars you let get away
    D. Power hitting 1B are much easier to come by than slick fielding, well-rounded 3B

    • brianabbe - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:33 AM


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