Blog Entry

Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals agree on extension

Posted on: February 26, 2012 9:24 am
Edited on: February 26, 2012 4:11 pm

By Matt Snyder

The Washington Nationals have agreed to sign third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to a six-year, $100 million contract extension,'s Jon Heyman has confirmed. Zimmerman's current five-year, $45 million deal doesn't expire until after the 2013 season, so this extension takes him through the 2019 season, and there's a $24 million club option for the 2020 season. Zimmerman also agreed to have $10 million deferred as a personal services fee, meaning the amount won't count toward the Nationals payroll -- there is no salary cap, but there's a luxury tax. The contract also contains a full no-trade clause, the inclusion of which had previously been a sticking point for Zimmerman.

Nationals spring training
The deal is the second-largest in MLB history for a third baseman, after Alex Rodriguez's current contract (A-Rod's first megadeal came when he was a shortstop). Zimmerman is now one of just six players signed through 2019, joining Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Braun and Matt Kemp.

"All along, all I've wanted is to be able to stay with the Nationals, which I consider my hometown team, and help the franchise become a winner while also being compensated fairly," Zimmerman said Saturday night, before the extension was complete. "While nothing is finalized, I am confident that we can reach an agreement that will accompish all those things. I'm from Virginia, I was drafted by the Nationals and I've seen this organization make great progress since I signed here. I want to see it through to the ultimate goal of winning a World Series."

More from Zimmerman on being from the area: "That was the whole point of this thing from the beginning," he said ( "I love playing here and I love the organization, but it's always been like this from day one when I started playing here - how I'm lucky to be in this position to be so close to my family, to kind of be in the area where I grew up, where I went to school. I enjoy playing here."

He also added that signing the extension was a "relief."

Zimmerman, 27, was the Nationals' first-round draft pick in 2005 -- the club's first year in Washington -- out of the University of Virginia and made his big-league debut late that season. He then finished second in the 2006 NL Rookie of the Year voting and has since been an All-Star while winning both the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. He hit .289/.355/.443 with 12 homers and 49 RBI in 101 games in 2011, as he was hampered by an abdominal injury. The previous season, he hit .307/.388/.510 with 25 homers and in 2009 he had 33 homers, 106 RBI and 110 runs scored.

The Nationals now have a young core of players locked up for several years, including Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, Bryce Harper, Drew Storen, Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos.

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Since: Apr 10, 2008
Posted on: February 27, 2012 3:50 pm

Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals agree on extension

wow under .300 career hitter that tops out at 25 HR a season....$100 million...geez have we gotten to the point that "GOOD" is worth $80 million?

Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: February 27, 2012 12:02 pm

Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals agree on extension

I know where the stimulus money went.  It went to the Nationals to sign all these over priced contracts for under performing players. RZ is not worth what he's being paid now much less $100 MIL more.  I like the manager Davey Johnson and how he can manage a game and group of men.  Davey has a proven track record as a player and a manager.  Zimmerman has proved he has talent but he is not an elite 3rd baseman as Alex Rodriguez and Evan Longoria have proven.  The Nationals have money to burn, probably We the Peoples money.  I just wasn't aware how rich this franchise was.  Acting like the Yankeees, Red Sox and Angels signing mediocre talent or chronic DL talent like its no big deal.  Hope this works out for the Nats because there are plenty of places Davey Johnson can make an impact with a lot less money and speculative talent.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2012 11:28 am

Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals agree on extension

They finish last with our without him. An expansions team.  Who cares?

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2012 11:27 am

Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals agree on extension

They finish last with or without him.  Why not save the cash.  They re an irrelevant expansion team!

Since: Dec 22, 2011
Posted on: February 27, 2012 11:05 am

Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals agree on extension

I dont care what anyone says. He isnt worth it! No way!

Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: February 27, 2012 9:23 am

Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals agree on extension

The longterm contract may be a risk in the eyes of most but this is a good move by the Nationals. It is sending a message to the league and the town that they are trying to build a winner. And when you have reputation of "non-success" dating back to their days as the Expos. They have locked up 3 good players long term, thus ensuring a core to build around. If they had to over pay to do it now, this was probably a necessary long term move. the signing of Zims is even better as it is an "emotional" move. Every team wants or has that one figure that defines the team. That when you say the team name you picture this player in your mind. Example Yankees, Jeter.  The face of the francise for many years and will still be so even after production has dipped. This creates a since of security, success, and tradition.  When I say Pirates, who comes to mind? and now how long before he gets traded? But more than that it gives the team a marketable image.  Sells jerseys and tickets. This is even better since Zimmerman was their first ever ferit round pick, and went to school in VA. The longterm contract for ZImms isnt just about him, its about moving the francise forward.   

Since: Oct 28, 2009
Posted on: February 27, 2012 9:04 am

Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals agree on extension

Zimmerman is a good all-around player. He hits and fields extremely well. However, I think 10 years is way too much to give a guy who can'y stay healthy. If I were a fan of the Nats today, I would be happy. Unfortunately, three years from now, the Nats are gonna be strapped with these long-term deals they are locked in with Werth and Zimmerman. I guess time will only tell to see how they end up.

Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: February 27, 2012 6:58 am

Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals agree on extension

Can't see 100 million dollars for a contract extension for Ryan Zimmerman...the Nationals already have a huge albatross in Jayson Werth, who isn't worth a whole lot right now...I understand the Nationals wanting to keep a nucleus of oung players, but a 10 year deal is just insane. When he's healthy, JZ is obviously one of the best hitting third basemen in the league, but can he stay healthy. Last year was not very productive...I wish him well. 

Since: Feb 27, 2012
Posted on: February 27, 2012 3:54 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Apr 27, 2008
Posted on: February 27, 2012 12:07 am

Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals agree on extension

It's clear Zim is not worth $100m for 6 years, especially when he suffered from so many different injuries in 2011. But the Nats are trying to build a dynasty, so over paying Zim is worth the risk for their organization. Sure they're probably a year away from any serious playoff contention, but in 2013 they'll have a rotation w/ a healthy Strasburg (if no setbacks in 2012), Zimmerman, Gio, the best set-up man in the game: Clippard, and a top 5 closer. On offense they'll have Zimmerman, Harper (w/ some MLB experience under his belt by them), Morse, Espinosa, Desmond (if he can live up to expectations), Ramos, Werth (who I expect to at least rebound to the 20/20 level and get his batting avg over .260), and possibly more high draft picks if they finish below .500 again this season. The Nats are looking ahead to winning from 2013 on, and they felt over-paying Zim was the last big deal they needed to make in order to lock in their vet leader, among locking in one of the best core of young ball players in the game today. Again, everyone going to say this is a terrible deal from the same owner who paid Werth over $120m for doing nothing but stranding runners and killing rallies all of 2011, but in this day and age of $80-$100+ million dollar deals, this type of contract is the norm, especially for teams trying to win over and extended period of time. Zim is in his prime and in six years he'll be 32, which is a better deal (age wise) than signing someone like Pujols or A-rod until they're in their 40's. 

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