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Nats reach six-year, $100M extension with Ryan Zimmerman

Feb 26, 2012, 9:33 AM EDT

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From Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post comes word that the Nationals reached agreement Sunday morning on a six-year contract extension with third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com has much more on the just-completed deal, which includes a club option for a seventh season and could keep Zimmerman in a Nationals uniform through 2020.

Financial terms have not been disclosed, though there is a press conference scheduled for Sunday afternoon at the Nationals’ spring complex in Viera, Florida and it’s likely that more information will leak soon.

Zimmerman, 27, has registered a cool .288/.355/.479 career batting line and averaged 25 home runs per year since breaking into the major leagues in 2005. He was already under team control through 2013, but the Nats wanted to prevent him from getting even a whiff of the open market. And they now have.

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UPDATE, 10:14 AM: ESPN’s Jim Bowden reports that the six-year extension is worth $100 million and the option for 2020 is worth $24 million. Zimmerman also got his wish with full no-trade protection.

  1. natstowngreg - Feb 26, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    Both sides wanted to get the deal done, both sides dealt in good faith, a deal was done, life goes on…

  2. dondada10 - Feb 26, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    I would say 6 for 100 is somewhere in between “team-friendly” and “market value.”

    I’d say it’s a good deal for both sides.

  3. ogre2010 - Feb 26, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    The Nats are building something special!!

    • brewcitybummer - Feb 26, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      Especially since there are some scouts out there that feel they got the best player in the draft last year as well in Anthony Rendon.

  4. crankyfrankie - Feb 26, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    This is a great signing for the nats. He is one of the best third baseman in baseball and the Nats are doing a good job in building a contender.

  5. rob0527 - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Great signing for the nats, but where r they getting all this money. What happens if they don’t win in a few years? Do they pull what the Marlins did and trade everybody, for pennies on the dollar?

    • ezthinking - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:28 AM

      The Lerners are about the riches owners in baseball, so… they have that going for them. Which is nice.

      • gretzkyoneyzermantwo - Feb 26, 2012 at 12:02 PM

        Seems like every few months or so you need to remind people that the Nats have deep pockets

  6. Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    This team could be very fun to watch for years to come now, pretty exciting for baseball. Hate saying it (even as someone who roots for the game more than his team), but when the NL East and Al East are competitive that will always be a good thing for the rest of the league, if not the mental health of people who read about baseball.

  7. buffalomafia - Feb 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Whoooa! This guy isn’t worth the money! I have to drop him off my fantasy baseball team because he is always hurt every year!

    • gretzkyoneyzermantwo - Feb 26, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      LOL where you do begin with this comment?

      Buffalo sucks? Niagara wants you to leave you’re making the skyline look ugly?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 26, 2012 at 12:29 PM

        He posted the exact same comment on the other thread. Unfortunately he has no clue about value considering how good Zimmerman actually is.

      • jwbiii - Feb 26, 2012 at 2:32 PM

        It seems that buffalomafia is a fantasy player. Zimmerman doesn’t put up great fantasy numbers. Just remember that when a fantasy player tells you something, they are looking at something other than baseball. Zimmerman is really good at baseball.

  8. schmedley69 - Feb 26, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    I don’t care how rich the Lerner’s are, at some point the Nats attendance and TV ratings are going to have to increase proportionally to keep-up with their payroll. Living in the D.C. area my entire life, I just don’t see that happening. I can envision a Marlins-esque fire-sale in a few years.

    • watermelon1 - Feb 26, 2012 at 3:44 PM

      Their attendance is higher than the Orioles, and I’m sure their TV ratings are higher too. And if the two teams keep going in the direction they have been… they will probably be winning over even more FORMER Orioles fans who just want to watch some actual professional baseball.

      The only time the Orioles get fans at their games, or people watching on TV… is when they play the Yankees or Red Sox. And that’s because people are watching the Yankees or Red Sox… NOT because they are watching the Orioles.

      With the expectations of both the Nationals and Marlins… I predict their games will get plenty of attention. And Philly usually has a pretty big draw. Maybe the Braves will get some offense in the next year or so.

      If the Nationals are winning, especially if they are still in a pennant race in July… the fans will come out by the bunches. This area gets behind a winner(unlike Florida). Just look at how big hockey got when the Capitals and Ovechkin were at their peak a couple years ago… ticket prices soared, and it was always a sell-out. And we’re talking about HOCKEY.

      • schmedley69 - Feb 26, 2012 at 4:43 PM

        The Nats have the smallest TV audience in all of baseball, about $29,000 per game:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/post/nationals-still-have-mlbs-smallest-tv-audience/2011/10/04/gIQADGaKLL_blog.html

        To make matters worse, they have to share their TV revenues with Peter Angelos. I’m sorry, but I’ll believe that Washington will be a good baseball town when I actually see it. The Orioles are in a serious down cycle right now, but at least their fans have proven that they will support the team when they win. The Nats haven’t won yet, but my guess is that when they do their attendance won’t change dramatically. The stadium is ok, but not great, and it’s a pain to get to. Camden Yards is prettier, in a nicer area, and much easier to get to for those of us who live in the corridor between D.C. and Baltimore.

        Like I said in my previous post, when your TV ratings and attendance are as alarmingly low as the Nats’ are, you can’t sustain a big payroll like that. People on here kill the Phillies when they hand out big contracts, but they have the fan-base and revenue stream to support it. The Nats and Marlins don’t, and my bet is that a few years from now all of the high-priced talent that those teams have been signing will be playing for other teams.

        Talk is cheap. Let’s see the Nats fans step up and actually start watching the team on TV and buying tickets before we proclaim D.C. to be a viable baseball market.

      • schmedley69 - Feb 26, 2012 at 4:51 PM

        If you read that Washington Post article that I posted, you will see the following average # of viewers per game:

        Yankees 310,000
        Phillies 276,000
        Nats 31,000

        Good luck keeping up with the big boys, Nats. Unless you suddenly increase your fan-base tenfold, you won’t be able to keep this spending up.

  9. jason1214 - Feb 26, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    wow all these comments about viewing #’s, did if occur to those quick to dismiss the dollars spent on the extension, that by 2015, WHEN the extension kicks in the Nats may have their own TV deal, and honestly, who would rather watch Baltimore than Washington? Angelos has ruined the Orioles and until he sells, Orioles fans you will stink.

    • schmedley69 - Feb 26, 2012 at 9:41 PM

      Even in their current decrepit state, the Orioles still averaged more viewers per game last year than the Nats. It wasn’t by a large margin, but it still speaks volumes about D.C. as a baseball town.

      The Nats are supposed to be a team on the rise with a lot of exciting young players, but no one in D.C. is watching. What kind of TV deal are the Nats going to be able to get when they only attract 30,000 viewers a game? There are probably infomercials that generate better ratings.

      You’d figure that as the Nats have progressively gotten better that their ratings and attendance would have followed suit, but they haven’t. In fact, the Nats attendance figures are highly inflated by the 9 home games vs. the Phillies. Just being a realist here. The jury is still out on D.C. as a baseball town.

      • jason1214 - Feb 26, 2012 at 9:56 PM

        I hear what you are saying. I was just pointing out in 2 years when the extension kicks in perhaps things will be different.

  10. Walk - Feb 26, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    Mn i am pround of the nasty nats. They overpaid to get worth proving they will get their player no matter the cost. They are now paying their young stars to stay. That will make it easier to keep guys like strassburg when time comes too. They are drafting well and young players like morse are doing great. Their bullpen is nasty. They are fairly young. They are in a very tough division though so do not get down on them early i bet their youth will be telling towards the end of the next couple seasons and the playoffs. They are quickly becoming a favorite team of mine to watch. Well done my hats off to their management and the nats fans.

  11. Walk - Feb 26, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Mn i am proud of the nasty nats. They overpaid to get worth proving they will get their player no matter the cost. They are now paying their young stars to stay. That will make it easier to keep guys like strassburg when time comes too. They are drafting well and young players like morse are doing great. Their bullpen is nasty. They are fairly young. They are in a very tough division though so do not get down on them early i bet their youth will be telling towards the end of the next couple seasons and the playoffs. They are quickly becoming a favorite team of mine to watch. Well done my hats off to their management and the nats fans.

  12. Walk - Feb 26, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Man i am proud of the nasty nats. They overpaid to get worth proving they will get their player no matter the cost. They are now paying their young stars to stay. That will make it easier to keep guys like strassburg when time comes too. They are drafting well and young players like morse are doing great. Their bullpen is nasty. They are fairly young. They are in a very tough division though so do not get down on them early i bet their youth will be telling towards the end of the next couple seasons and the playoffs. They are quickly becoming a favorite team of mine to watch. Well done my hats off to their management and the nats fans.

  13. Walk - Feb 26, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    Ladies and gentlemen i am sorry for somehow making that triple post. I hit enter nothing happened so i noticed a typo and corrected it. Wited a bit nothing happened. Noticed another typo. Well same thing. Thankfully i did not notice any more typos…

    • nolanwiffle - Feb 27, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      Twice you didn’t capitalize “I”. You misspelled “Werth” and “Strasburg”, and also failed to capitalize “Morse”. Otherwise, you’re OK.

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