Saturday, February 25, 2012

Done deal: Zim signed through '19

Associated Press file photo
Ryan Zimmerman and the Nationals agreed to a six-year extension this morning.
Updated at 10:11 a.m.

VIERA, Fla. -- After a long Saturday spent overcoming a few remaining obstacles, the Nationals and Ryan Zimmerman put the finishing touches this morning on a long-term contract extension that promises to keep the star third baseman in Washington through at least 2019, perhaps 2020, while making him one of the game's highest-paid players.

Zimmerman agreed to the final terms this morning, a source with knowledge of the talks confirmed. The six-year extension (covering the 2014-19 seasons) is worth $100 million, and there's a $24 million club option for $2010. Zimmerman, 27, is already under contract for the next two seasons for $26 million, meaning he's now guaranteed to make $126 million over the next eight years and perhaps $150 million over the next nine years.

The Nationals will hold a news conference this afternoon to formally announce the deal, which ensures Zimmerman will be a member of the organization until he's at least 35 and makes him the second-highest-paid third baseman in history (behind only Alex Rodriguez).

With this contract now finalized, the Nationals know they have locked up the core of their roster for years to come. There are now 11 key players under team control through at least 2015: Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond and Tyler Clippard (under control through '15), Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Wilson Ramos, Danny Espinosa and Drew Store (under control through '16), Jayson Werth (under control through '17), Bryce Harper (under control through '17 or '18 depending on when he makes his debut) and Zimmerman (under control through '19).

"That's awesome," Storen said. "I've always talked about this being a special group, not only quality baseball players but also good guys in the clubhouse. And especially guys like Zim, you can't ask for a better leader. He leads by example. He's been here since the beginning of the organization and has really been a staple for us."

This morning's resolution comes after the two sides spent Saturday night hammering out a number of details and all but acknowledging the contract would be finished early today.

"We have made significant progress on an extension for Ryan that would ensure he plays for the Nationals for a long time, which has always been Ryan's goal," agent Brodie Van Wagenen released in a statement shortly before 11 p.m. "We are working on a structure that will allow the team to continue to add talent and establish a winner which is another goal of Ryan's.

"While there are still important aspects to work through, we bridged multiple important gaps on many major parts of a contract. Nothing is done until it is done, but both sides are optimistic that an agreement can be reached and Ryan can focus his energies on preparing with his teammates for the season."

General manager Mike Rizzo, still working at Space Coast Stadium into the night, said the two sides had managed to cross enough major hurdles over the course of the day to leave only a couple of minor details still to be hashed out before the deal can be announced.

"We don't have a deal done yet, but we've made significant progress tonight," Rizzo said. "We feel good about it and optimistic that we can reach an agreement. But there's some small details we have to iron out through tonight and tomorrow. Hopefully tomorrow ... we'll have something more concrete to announce. But we feel good and optimistic that Zim is going to be a Washington National for a very, very long time."

Zimmerman released his own statement through Van Wagenen, reiterating his desire to work out a deal with the organization that drafted him out of the University of Virginia in 2005.

"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," he said. "While nothing is finalized, I am confident that we can reach an agreement that will accomplish 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."

Zimmerman had originally said he would end negotiations once spring training began for position players (10 a.m. yesterday). When a deal still hadn't been finalized by that point, he said he would give the team until the end of the day to get something done or else suspend negotiations until next winter.

The biggest sticking point all along has been the inclusion of a no-trade clause in the deal, but it appears that was one of the hurdles crossed last night, leaving only a few small items to be hashed out before the contract is completed.

"I don't see any major stumbling blocks," Rizzo said, "just more detail-oriented work that needs to be done."

By morning, all those details had been finalized. And the Nationals could rest easy knowing their star third baseman will be around for at least eight more seasons.

"Zim's awesome," shortstop Ian Desmond said. "He's the face of the franchise. He's been the face of the franchise since Day 1. If anybody deserves it, he deserves it."

156 comments:

NatsLady said...

NatsNut-- here is the link for the Clip/Storen video.

http://www.csnwashington.com/blog/nationals-talk/post/Lidge-sharp-in-bullpen-session?blockID=657506&feedID=6358

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Get'er done

Anonymous said...

Wahoo! Looks like we have the FOTF lined up for a long term deal. This will be another step to making the Nationals the class of the Washington sport scene! ( OK, I realize that's not saying much....)

Grandstander said...

From the sound of it, seems like the Nats caved on the no-trade clause in exchange for tacking this deal onto the end of his extremely team-friendly current deal. Probably backloaded with some club/mutual options on the final years.

I'm not old enough to have followed baseball as long as some of the others here, but I can't really remember a team that has had this much core talent locked up for so long. This is, for the most part, a team that will remain remarkably stable for the next 4 seasons, with only the chance to improve.

Scooter said...

Aw, too bad. I was actually sort of looking forward to seeing where the comments would go tomorrow. I mean, it only took us about one day to go from "Pay the man!!!1!" to "Are you kidding me? It's theoretically possible that he's asking for X dollars over Y years. That isn't team friendly AT ALL! Why is Ryan Zimmerman ruining DC sports??? Screw him, let's sign Inge!!!1!"

Scooter said...

Grandstander, you're old enough to remember the Indians of the early 90s, aren't you? Jacoby, Snyder, Baerga? I think Manny and/or Albert Belle was in there somewhere. Anyway, they were one of the first teams to "lock up" young players. They looked pretty good. (They fizzled a bit, but that's beside the point.) The Yankees had some good kids in the mid-90s too. (They did better.) My point here is not to quibble with you, but to reminisce.

And of course it wasn't that long ago that every team's core was totally locked up -- they didn't have this crazy "free agency" thing yet.

Scooter said...

I seem to have mixed up my Tribe history. Jacoby and Snyder were part of a team that many thought would get good in the late 80s. It was in the mid-90s, with young Thome and Manny, that the Indians actually got good.

Scooter said...

SPAMMER!

Anonymous said...

As expected ... now I guess they are going to add another outfielder to the mix to replace Cameron in Gerardo Parra ... have to figure Bernadina is a part of that deal don't know how they are going to manage all the left-handed hitting CF's in Gerardo Parra, Roger Bernadina, Rick Ankiel, and Corey Brown. Plenty of excellent fielders ... just NO real bats ... all platoon bats. Plus the fringe veteran they signed in Xavier Paul. Then there's Bryce Harper? Seems kind of nutty unless they dispense with some? Brown they at least will use in AAA Syracuse to see what he can do this year. Maybe the same with Jason Michaels and Brett Carroll.

But the draft looks like the next huge job. Contracts need to be done by the July deadline after drafting in June they are going to have to start preparing for that very soon.

Frediemac said...

D-Backs are denying that Parra is on the trading block

dryw said...

This is lovely news to wake up to on a Sunday morning! Now I'll just haunt the blog for the next several hours until the announcement is officially made. Now, let the season begin!!! GYFNG!

Anonymous said...

This would be awesome, Zim is the perfect combo of player, leader and team player.

natsfan1a said...

Definitely a great item of wake-up news. :-) (Now, where's my coffee?)

MicheleS said...

So happy and glad this is almost over.. I can't wait to see Next Sunday's game!!! WOO HOO..

Now Mark Take pictures (or have the camera's rolling) for the Namath vs Stras battles today!!!

natsfan1a said...

Don't forget, we can listen to next Saturday's game, too. Yay!

Rabbit said...

The small details should be overcome by "Love".

Positively Half St. said...

Kilgore has now tweeted that a source says the deal is done. I now consider the Nats' offseason a success, and would be even more impressed if they traded for Gerardo Parra's Gold Glove. Are there any naysayers left, who might require that they had signed Fielder or acquired a superstar for CF somehow?

+1/2St.

Positively Half St. said...

If they really have signed Zimmerman through 2018, then it means that he will have played 13 seasons in DC (plus a 2005 cup of coffee) if all goes well. That is about as close to a full career as one could hope for. Extra years after that could be just for nostalgia's sake.

+1/2St.

JayB said...

I do think that signing Zim is a great step for the team. It was the right thing to do and they saved so much money in the first half of his career that his cost over the career is cheap....

This past of season a success......nope..not till they get a bench with some big bats (RH especially) and a CF option and a Lead off option....right now they have nothing MLB average for any of that....you do not win more than you lose with MLB average. You lose more than you win with less than average. There is no good reason to risk a break out season without improving the bench, CF and most of all Lead off OBP.....Ian D is not going to provide even below average lead off.....I know that and those who do not.....well you are about to find out....he will be about .295 OBP for the year.

sm13 said...

They're "paying the man"!! Couldn't be happier for Zim, the Nats, and us fans who will get to watch Zim vacuum up more scorchers at third and bash a few more game-winners into the redporch seats.

"I see great things in baseball. It's our game, the American game. It will repair our losses and be a blessing to us." You could look it up.

Go Nats!!!

Original Nats Fan said...

Yes! Zim has been my favorite Nat since his September call up in 2005. Now lets go beat up on the NL East.

Anonymous said...

There are three things in life that are a certain:

Death, taxes and JayB putting a negative spin on positive Nats news.

sm13 said...

Kilgore says: "The Nats and Ryan Zimmerman have agreed to a contract extension, source says. A press conference expected to come after today's workout."

Mark: will CSN carry the presser on line or on air?

GO NATS!!

JayB said...

+1/2 asked.....This is great news...I said it and fully believe and support it.....does it fix the problems for this year....nope....he was signed already.....this team still has huge holes that are not yet addressed. By the way I do not like Rizzo lying to us.....Adam L is not 100% and ready to go.....not that I ever believed Rizzo on that but what is the point of just lying...he was not even throwing 90 feet this winter....come on.

HHover said...

JayB

I envy your ability to see the future, but don't understand why you're wasting it on a forecast of Desmond's OBP.

alexva said...

Good for the fans, good for the on field reasons and good that the club was able to get it done within the set time frame. More and more the front office is helping to erase the negative perceptions of the past.

Marty said...

@JayB - Your constant usage of the extended....ellipses....makes me read all your comments in a drunk William Shatner voice. Just an FYI.

natsfan1a said...

sm13, would that be a former commish? (I could look it up, but wanted to guess. Unfortunately, his name eludes me at present. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.)

JayB said...

come on...get over yourself....what we do as fans is have opinions .....mine are based on years of baseball experience on the field and several 100s of games in Nats Parks......Ian D has not shown he understands the role, has the skills to read pitches and command the strike zone. He has talent for sure.....but if after over 8 years of full time professional Baseball and over 10,000 ABs he still does not show progress.....why would you expect it.....PLAN for IT....now?

natsfan1a said...

Marty, you say that like it's a bad thing. :-)

sm13 said...

I's Walt Whitman as quoted by Annie Savoy, who else?

natsfan1a said...

("it" being the Shatner voice) JayB's entitled to his opinion, imo, fwiw.

natsfan1a said...

D'oh! Thanks, sm13. Must need more coffee...and remedial viewing of my Bull Durham DVD.

JayB said...

oh and 1a....you have always been the voice of civility and consistency in this passion we all share.....thank you for that.

sm13 said...

It's not Spring Training without remedial viewings of Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, and Major League.

MicheleS said...

Hey.. JayB said something positive, so leave him alone. Plus we need people to keep harping on the Speedy McLeadoff/CF situation - sometimes the squeeky wheel gets fixed. If you don't want to read it, then move on.

Plus, who doesn't love Shatner?

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, JayB, and agreed, sm13, at least on the two of those that I have in-house.

Just refreshed and it's a done deal.

NatsNut said...

Oh, thank god. I mean, really, THANK GAWD! All week I've had an ugly, black knot in the pit of my stomach thinking about all the implications of not getting this done now - Werth getting a no-trade clause but not Zim (!!), all the money and excitement they just forked out on pretty much everyone but not Zim (who's no doubt offering a good price), stressing around the trade deadline and beyond (I would HATE the players we got for him for eternity), watching him probably have a career year, then walk away with kajillions to another team. And feeling SHAME at the thought that of all people HE'S the one they're going to get stubborn on? Wow.

HUGE sigh of relief here.

(also, thanks for the link NatsLady!)

MicheleS said...

Latest tweet from Olney:

The new deal for Ryan Zimmerman is for six years, with a club option on a seventh year.

Marty said...

@natsfan1a - Yeah, I didn't mean it as a bad thing, just as an observation.

Gonat said...

Buster Olney: The new deal for Ryan Zimmerman is for six years, with a club option on a seventh year.

Union Station said...

Zim's long-term contract is wonderful news. All we need now is a center fielder/leadoff hitter, and it's World Series here we come!

Joe Seamhead said...

Hopefully Mr. Rizzo just got a lot less stupid and the Lerners just got a lot less cheap in some the naysayers eyes. Another feather in the hat of someone that is rapidly becoming one of the best GM's in MLB.

Gonat said...

Nice to check off that priority as done. As fans, we can only hope for Zim to play like the elite contract he just signed. These long-term deals generally don't pay off but Zim is only 27 years old.

Now the Nats will have Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth, and Zim here through at least 2017 (bring on the Werth bench jokes) and the full core except Morse is under team control thru 2015.

Jim Kurtzke said...

Is the 6-year deal additive to the remaining 2 years on current deal, or in place of it?

MicheleS said...

Jim K.. Not additonal details yet.

Gonat said...

Jim, that's the $26 million question now. If it isn't then the new contract is much more expensive since the Nats had him under contract for 2 years at very controllable dollars $12 mill and $14 mill.

MicheleS said...

Nationals review just tweet new deal..

If its new deal not extension, #Nats control Zim through 2018 (Age 33)

LoveDaNats said...

Yes!

natsfan1a said...

Second the thanks to NL for the video, which I just watched.

MicheleS said...

WAIT.. Even better news from Olney..

Some of you have asked; here's the answer: Zimmerman's 6-year deal, plus option, is on top of current contract. Team controls through 2020

Sunderland said...

They gonna stitch a C on the front of his uni?

Positively Half St. said...

JayB-

I concede that the lead-off problem is unfortunately lingering, and no fix seems possible by April. I still remain optimistic that a few moves might help the bench and perhaps CF by Opening Day, though. The CF fix is unlikely to be permanent, but I am intrigued by Gerardo Parra and his Gold Glove.

Don't jump to conclusions on LaRoche just yet. Mark did say that nobody was winging the ball yesterday, and I can imagine they want LaRoche to build strength over the next few weeks.

+1/2St.

Dave said...

While I agree JayB certainly has the right to his opinion (even if it could be expressed in less of a broken record fashion), I no longer think that big trade for a CF should happen before the trading deadline. I'm guessing now that Bryce is coming up sooner rather than later, so there is no big hole to fill until we see how ALR recovers. If he is a bust, we can dump him anytime & pick up a slugging first base type as a temporary fillin, but if he does follow his normal progression and start hitting around June / July, he should be worth a fair amount more. Furthermore, there should be lots better CF definition by trade deadline, as by then we should know about the health of Span (and Benson should be ready to move up), the health of Bourjos (and Trout should prove himself), and there is even a chance that Pittsburgh will be out of it (with several up and coming outfielders) that could make McCutchen available. Otherwise, folks that become free agents at year end should be getting cheap if teams are out of it, so we could pick someone up for a stretch run if needed. I think this team has enough pitching and defense to keep us close and interesting regardless. So, at this point I'm all for giving Ian one last chance to break out, give Lombo a shot if Ian fails, and then make a decision at the trade deadline on the long term solution for leadoff / CF.

Jeaner said...

This makes me very happy. Zim has done everything asked of him and not only been the Face of the Franchise, he has been a positive and smiling face while playing with Elijah Dukes, et al. He's earned getting a lucrative deal from the team, he's earned the chance to be here for actual on-the-field success, and he's earned the fan's appreciation.
A certain team that plays on F Street wishes they had a superstar who could do as much for as long, with this much leadership and good will.

natsfan1a said...

Captain Z does have a nice ring to it, Sunderland. :-)

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
WAIT.. Even better news from Olney..

Some of you have asked; here's the answer: Zimmerman's 6-year deal, plus option, is on top of current contract. Team controls through 2020

February 26, 2012 9:11 AM
_______________________________

Thanks for that update. That is huge and basically will keep Zim here to the next decade!

Very happy to hear that we won't have to deal with this again when Zim was 33 or 34 years old.

Dave said...

Zimm is here through 2020. It's going to be a great decade.

I'm glad the one expensive "authentic" jersey I have is Zimmerman 11. (I've also got a replica Storen 58 of which I'm very proud--his rookie-year number.)

Joe Seamhead said...

Zimmerman for Captain. Ah, yes! A political platform that I would support!

Positively Half St. said...

Provided that Olney is right, Zimmerman would turn 36 at the end of his option year. So many have judged other similar contracts (Werth 37 at end) poorly because of how many of the years are part of the players natural decline. Many claimed that only an AL team should sign Fielder through age 37 so he could be a DH the last several years. None of us are saying that about Zimmerman.

I don't think we should, but I find the contrast interesting. We should simply enjoy this wonderful news, and dismiss those that inevitably will say that the Nats paid too much for Zimm's "out years."

+1/2St.

Gonat said...

I see Zim's role changing with this new deal. He moves a little away as the FoF to a bigger role as the team ambassador, a more regal role as a veteran player helping to recruit and working towards the ultimate prize of a World Series.

It is also a great message to the young players that the Nats will keep the core together if you perform.

Whatsanattau said...

Go Nats. Go Zimm. There are many good things about the off season, Ramos release, Zimmerman's signing, Gio's acquisition, the Lidge signing, the Jackson signing, health reports on Strasburg, and the Harper Hope. Now we get to watch and listen and read.

Anonymous said...

What a waste of good money. Zim can no longer throw -- I suspect this will only get worse. And we lock him up forever? What a waste of good money!

Positively Half St. said...

One of the great things about the team's progress is that we finally get to read positive columns about the team. Here is an Oscars-style column from ESPN that treats the Nats and Mike Rizzo very well:

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/21149/predictions-for-2012-oscar-style

I hope nobody else posted that while I wasn't paying attention. In other news, Grant Paulsen just waxed rhapsodically about Bryce Harper as his #1 prospect on MLB Network Radio.

+1/2St.

Feel Wood said...

As I said yesterday, the no-trade clause was not the sticking point in this deal. It was the other creative ways of making Zimmerman a lifetime Nat that were holding things up. Here are some of the creative provisions the Nats have agreed to:

o That patch of grass in the batter's eye will now become the Zimmerman family burial grounds. Opponents who homer there will be prosecuted for desecrating sacred space.

o When Zimmerman's number is retired, no future owner will be allowed to un-retire it and give it to Logan Morrison.

o When the Washington Post ultimately folds (expected to be next year) the Nationals will purchase Thomas Boswell, install him in the PR department and force him to churn out pro-Lerner articles for the rest of his life.

There may be others. These are just the ones that have leaked out so far.

Nats Firin' BB's said...

Mark--While he (or she) did so in a rather snarky fashion, Anon 9:46 did bring up the fact that Zim's throwing motion was beyond hideous when he came back from the ab injury last year. It just looked wrong. I know the sample size is small, but does he look more comfortable so far this spring with his throwing?

rmoore446 said...

I share JayB's doubts about Ian D. I hope I am wrong and he is just a late bloomer and Davey's instructions will straighten him out. I think this season is a 'be good or be gone' for Ian.

On LaRoche:f his shoulder isn't ready, put him on the DL until it is. Even in the best of health he is a notoriously slow starter.

But boy am I excited about this season!!

Positively Half St. said...

Bowden tweets the deal is 6 years 100M, no trade. That is a team-friendly deal. Champagne for all! Mimosas perhaps.

+1/2St.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

His throwing issue last season was a reaction to the surgery. He had it well in hand by Labor Day. 9:46 is just trolling to get a reaction ("we lock him up forever" ?? Not unless you're Ted Lerner, you didn't.)

Dryw said...

Happy happy happy! Also a fan of the Z-man since that first cup of coffee, and this was a deal that really needed to get made. Can't wait to watch next Sunday!

Big Train said...

Mark I always enjoy your reporting

The Zimmerman deal is great news to start the 2012 season. BTW, how is Ryan doing with the "new" throwing motion in spring training. I know that there were a few "hold your breath" moments during the latter part of 2011 when he had to cut one loose. I am curious to see if it has become more natural for him.
Looking forward to a fun season of baseball

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Seems like a market-value deal, which I wasn't sure they'd arrive at. I've always quarter-expected him to move on eventually, just because most do. Hopefully, he'll stay relatively healthy and productive. With luck, he'll finish with something like Ron Santo's career, only more rings. OK, a ring would do that, but still.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

confidential to 1a: skip all the way to the end, just before the last fade, for the Whitman quote in Bull Durham. Last line of the film.

FS said...

100/7 would have been nicer, but I think 100/6 is good too. The option is kinda expensive though.

natsfan1a said...

Mark, re. the update, should that read "for 2020"?

and there's a $24 million club option for $2010.

(Thanks re. the DVD, sec3.)

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

The six-year extension (covering the 2014-19 seasons) is worth $100 million, and there's a $24 million club option for $2010.

Wait, what?? Is that a $10MM option for 2024?
$24MM option for 2020?

Beat me to it again, 1a.

Drew said...

Happy Zimmermas!

Woo hoo!

Nats Firin' BB's said...

Hey Sec 3...I know he was more on point with his throws the more he did it, I was more referring to the motion itself. I'm wondering whether it looks any more fluid, because I don't remember any point in the season where it looked right, results notwithstanding.

Doug said...

I can't wait to find out what the "creative" part was.

Nattydread said...

Yes!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

BBs, it looked to me like he was getting more comfortable with it, and I seem to recall him saying as much, but nothing specific comes to mind at the moment, so maybe that's just me. I know I *was* paying attention to where the ball wound up, primarily. Not that mechanics aren't relevant, they are.

Nattydread said...

Great Oscar-Style Prediction for the Nats in ESPN SweetSpot:

Best Original Screenplay
Cleveland Indians -- Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo are healthy, Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall develop into stars, Ubaldo Jimenez wins 20 games and the Indians shockingly win one of the AL wild cards.

Milwaukee Brewers -- After losing Fielder, Braun hits dramatic game-winning home run on Opening Day and goes on to win second straight MVP Award, and lead the Brewers into the playoffs.

Tampa Bay Rays -- In a story almost too unbelievable to believe, the underdog Rays again beat out the Red Sox on the season's final day to make the playoffs.

Texas Rangers -- Darvish proves sensational and is in the Cy Young hunt, Hamilton hits 30 home runs, Kinsler goes 30-30 again, and the Rangers stomp the Angels in the AL West.

Washington Nationals -- Strasburg wins the NL ERA title, rookie Bryce Harper hits 25 home runs, Ryan Zimmerman finishes second in MVP vote, and the Nats make the playoffs.

Winner: Washington Nationals

The Nationals become so popular that presidential candidates seek Harper's endorsement.

natsfan1a said...

Well, I did dig up this Times item. (Mark wasn't on the road for that series and thus didn't have a gamer.)

Steve M. said...

Congrats to the Zimmerman and NatsTown family. Zim gets a larger contract than Beltre but seems like a fair deal for both sides and only behind ARod and that new 3rd baseman Miguel Cabrera in 3rd baseman contracts.

I wasn't a fan of the tactics and some of the vitriol spewed was very unnecessary and I think it also showed the true side of MASN's Pete Kerzel with some unfortunate commentary on Twitter yesterday.

I had said once Bill Ladson tweets that the deal wasn't going to happen (which he eventually did), that it was. The tainted bait that man takes is just too funny but he can now take solace in that 99% chance Prince Fielder won't sign with the Nats.

The core of this team will be the best going forward as so many other teams are aged beyond the needed output.

Enjoy your weekend. See you next week in Florida!

natsfan1a said...

There's also this Post item. (Both in re. Zimm's throwing, postus interruptus, yada yada.)

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

1a, I owe you a cola-flavored beverage.

natsfan1a said...

I'll take it, sec3. :-)

NatsNut said...

Where's the "like" button on this thing?

=)
___________________

Drew said...
Happy Zimmermas!

Woo hoo!
February 26, 2012 10:32 AM

N. Cognito said...

So much for "team friendly deal." I hope he lives up to it.

sm13 said...

Good deal for Zim, the Lerners, Rizzo, and the fans! All in all, a great first week in Viera!

NatsNut said...

Ok, now that these silly, petty issues are worked out I want to know the important news from ST, namely what clubhouse meals are being bought by each of the millionaires club. Thanks in advance, Mark. ;)

HHover said...

This looks like a solid deal for both sides.

Taking the value over the next 8 years and averaging it out, that's $15.75 per season. At the current rate of ~$4.5M/WAR and ignoring inflation (which works in the team's favor), he'd have to produce about 3.5 WAR per season, or 28 WAR over 8 seasons, to be worth it. That seems perfectly reasonable given his production over the past 3-4 seasons, even with injuries.

Congrats to the Nats, and hello to Zim for the long-term.

JaneB said...

Hurraaaaaaaaaaaah! I especially loved reading the quote about seeing this through to a World Series win. What I loved about it was the absence of that the secret, inner voice that used to whisper to me, "Yeah, but not anytime soon."

Now I think soon. Foreseeable future soon. Maybe multiple times, soon. We will see.

THANK YOU LERNERS! THANK YOU RIZZO! THANK YOU RYAN!

Roberto said...

"Many claimed that only an AL team should sign Fielder through age 37 so he could be a DH the last several years. None of us are saying that about Zimmerman."

The Nats are only committed to Zimmerman through his age 34 season. While he will almost certainly be in the decline phase of his career, there is a big difference between 34 and 37 when it comes to decline.

Case in point: Scott Rolen, the player to whom Zimmerman is most often compared, had an .823 OPS and played third like, well, Scott Rolen, in his age 34 season.

This deal, while not without its risks, strikes me as very shrewd and team-friendly.

Anonymous said...

and would be even more impressed if they traded for Gerardo Parra's Gold Glove.

Its a gold glove in left field 1/2 street NOT center. So, he wasn't even the best CF on AZ? Sure seems like another Roger Bernadina, he of the left field web gems.

Constant Reader said...

So now having locked down the FotF, I don't think I'm being outrageously hyperbolic to say, "Let the Nationals Era begin."

For the next four to six years, we start every season believing we can be in the thick of things, and we will spend the season reveling in the chase or lamenting the misfortunes that have kept us out. The years of watching a sometimes painfully bad, too often embarrassing team, hoping for a better day are over. That day is here. It has been a long time coming, hasn't it friends?

N. Cognito said...

My bad. Numbers not as "bad" as they originally seemed. I was dividing $126 million by 6 instead of 8.

Gonat said...

HHover, you can't add in 2012 and 2013 as that was already under contract to prove your point. Jon Heyman saying $10 mill deferred as personal services contract so that was the "creative" part to make it team friendly. If that $24 million option kicks in the average jumps to close to $18 million average which gets Zim to where he wanted to ultimately be.

I agree with N. Cognito said...
So much for "team friendly deal." I hope he lives up to it.

February 26, 2012 11:09 AM

realdealnats said...

Props to Rizzo, who is proving to be a fine GM. A franchise speaks symbolically on a number of levels to a number of audiences. Signing Werth, even w/the overpay on the overpay, had to be done. It was overdue as a message to FAs and their agents that we wanted to be taken seriously. Now with Zimm, the message is we take care of those who have really taken care of us, as Zimm has. Even with his injuries. Strong quiet leadership with knuckleheads surrounding you like Dukes and Milledge. Players in their prime see this and respect it. Especially when you are tough in other negotiations as Rizzo was with Adam, and with agents as he was with Boras on Stras and Harper. In general long term deals are scary b/c of human nature. Nobody wants to be the ATM the Redskins became. But the smart assembling of young core talent--with a good attitude is what the art of GMing is all about.

Next step: get that CFer--one you'll want for the next few years--preferably a bat who can cover decent ground--otherwise a gold glover who makes his pitchers' happy--but not a Mr. InBetween. Do it now if you can afford to give up the talent realistically needed. Or next best scenario: overpay next December for the best guy out there. Make him an offer he can't refuse--in money not super long years. LaRoche's shoulder has made this OF issue more of an immediate than it needed to be. We don't want a weak arm at 1B, and if we move Morse there we don't want a weak bat in LF and a weak fielder in CF. Not with the Open Window that is now so opportunely right in front of us. TT. Leave off the MF.

natsfan1a said...

On a baseball game note (even if it if preseason), just noticed that evidently one can now buy tix for the April 3 3 p.m. Red Sox exhibition game and the wounded warrior game after it at Nats Park. Too bad it's not a weekend game. Don't know that I could talk my hubby into two games on a weeknight. :-)

HHover said...

GoNat

Of course you add in the '12 and '13 seasons--both sides took it into account in their negotiations for 2014-19, and it represents the total cost to the Nats over the next 8 years. The '20 option is meaningless, in the sense that it's not guaranteed money, and they won't pay it if he's not worth it at that time.

Anonymous said...

Well, I for one do not agree with JayB.

I don't think the Nats have the huge holes he claims. I do agree there are spots in the starting lineup that are still TBD and from my perspective Desmond and his 136 strikeouts constitute one. But Lombardozzi has really bulked up and seem ready to fill a role. He has been trained as a leadoff hitter in the minors whereas Desmond really was not ...

I believe Harper is also capable of filling this role as a rookie. Its kind of waste given his power potential but then Johnson could always put the pitcher in the #8 spot like Riggleman did.

Kobernus needs to learn not to strike out so much then he too would make a great possible lead-off #2 guy. Rendon certainly appears to be a definite #2 hitter given his college OBP. He may be ready sooner than people realize or expect.

NOW, onto CF. Harper and 85 power bat need to be in the mix if they plan on "playing meaningful games in September". JayB, 1/2 Street, Mark, et al? As I've said all along that means Jayson Werth is in CF. Period. Get used to it! Sheesh.

And its not GYFNG ... its now #WSinDC12. That's what the kids and their friends are tweeting. Might as well go along JayB.

Gonat said...

The extension reportedly is for 6 years $100 million w/ a 7th year $24 million option.

That makes it a $16.67 million per year deal with $17.71 million if the option is picked up. Not sure how this $10 million that Jon Heyman talked about in a personal services contract fits into this.

SonnyG10 said...

Now I can relax and enjoy ST. Any further progress is gravy to me. GYFNG!

Gonat said...

HHover said...
GoNat

Of course you add in the '12 and '13 seasons--both sides took it into account in their negotiations for 2014-19, and it represents the total cost to the Nats over the next 8 years. The '20 option is meaningless, in the sense that it's not guaranteed money, and they won't pay it if he's not worth it at that time.

February 26, 2012 11:25 AM
________________________________

Absolutely not. This is an extension to an existing contract. You are doing creative accounting to say it went below that $15.99 million number called the Adrian Beltre line to make it seem a team-friendly deal.

It at least stayed below $17.99 million to where the bad Werth contract wasn't exceeded to make it a decent deal IMO.

Anonymous said...

Finally JayB,

How is it that Milwaukee could go into the NLCS? With Nyjer Morgan in CF? Answer that? Is it because Morgan was better than everyone in DC thought?

No, it was because Fielder and Braun were in that lineup. That kind of lineup tends to do a good job of covering those huge holes by creating a prolific and dangerous offense. The key is the MIDDLE of the LINEUP and #2. Lead-off is important but as one can see you don't need the world's greatest in the lead-off spot. YOU NEED OFFENSE from the 2,3,4,5. That's where it all comes from.

Without signing Fielder the Nats are left with projecting large offensive improvement in players like Ramos, Werth, Espinosa ... with continued excellence from Morse and Zimmerman. Plus a more effect run producing bench. Doesn't look like something to bet the farm on does it? No.

Harper is the "X-factor". If he can produce out the chute in the big leagues it could change the whole dynamic.

Theophilus said...

So "team-friendly" it could've been crafted by one of Ted's Tyson's II bean-counters. Confirms what I have thought about Zimmerman since his rookie year -- his ambitions in baseball go beyond counting the dollars in his vault. (Notice that people of my generation sometimes build metaphors around Scrooge McDuck.) Whose reputation would you want to retire on, A-Rod's or Ripken's?

This deal could have adverse effects on Nats in the future if Zimmerman's career becomes mired in injuries and Werth continues to fail to perform according to expectations. But I'm never going to complain about it.

HHover said...

Gonat

Actually, I wasn't trying to measure Zim's contract against Beltre's, Werth's, or anyone else's. If you want to have that debate, you'll need to find someone else.

I was measuring Zim's contract (contracts, if you prefer) against a reasonable expectation of his WAR. The total payment's they've guaranteed to him over the next 8 years look reasonable in terms of what they can expect in return.

Sunderland said...

HHover, I agree that in determining "team friendly", you factor in 2012 and 2013. They were certainly part of the negotiation.

Gonat said...

HHover, read Mark's tweet:

@MarkZuckerman: Source familiar with Zim deal said current contract is not changed at all. That was a key sticking point all along.

Anonymous said...

You spin meisters determining "team friendly" vs not are a joke. Zimmerman just assured himself lifetime earnings over $150 million.

The way to determine team friendly will be his output on the field.

CBinDC said...

So I am Happy. I tired of being unhappy. Soooo I am HAPPY. And in the years to come we can work out where the statue goes. I for one want to see his throw on the bare hand pick up as the pose. Imagine what that would look like in bronze. So it's Johnson, Howard, Zimmerman, TBD in Nationals DC baseball history now.

HHover said...

Gonat

You seem to be confusing me with another commenter--thanks for the reference to Mark's tweet, but I never said this changed his contract for 2012-13.

I do have a question for Mark Z., tho--if his 2012-13 contract isn't changed at all, does that mean he has "no trade" protection over the next 2 years? Because the existing contract doesn't have a no trade clause, correct?

Anonymous said...

http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/comments/ryan_zimmerman1

An independent view that the Nats still overpaid and all the details aren't in. Is this $2 million a year the Nats will pay Zimmerman for 5 years after he retires a part of his $100 million extension or on top of it?

Wally said...

I agree with Gonat that the extension assumes Zim will be roughly a 5 WAR player in the first year of his contract (2014), in other words don't count the current contract. This extension is a marginal decision they are making, since the existing contract is a sunk cost. I think that 5 WAR is a reasonable, maybe even conservative, assumption if he is healthy. Which has always been the big 'if' here. I also think the total view expressed by HHover looks very attractive. I see no reason other than injury that Zim can't stay at 3B for the entire length of his contract. His range might/will decline some towards the end, but he is so good right now, he'll probably just decline towards average, not unplayable.

I also think this is comfortably below what he could get on the open market two offseasons from now (once again, assuming reasonably good health), so I do think that Zim was talking straight when he says this was a 'team-friendly' deal.

I am excited for some real baseball to start. I may also need to get my 5 yr old son a JZimm or RAM-MOOSE jersey. Also excited to see how the slew of new, young guys look, especially the injury question guys like Rendon, Purke, Solis.

Anonymous said...

This deal could have adverse effects on Nats in the future if Zimmerman's career becomes mired in injuries and Werth continues to fail to perform according to expectations. But I'm never going to complain about it.

The key is leveraging the draft and PLAYER DEVELOPMENT the way the Nats have under Rizzo. If Werth is declining he might become a way overpaid bench player. But with this front office and coaching hopefully they will continue to produce top, young, inexpensive controllable talent from the the minors on a yearly to semi-yearly basis. That should cover any unexpected catastrophe. Zim already has 2 potential backups in Rendon and Carlos Rivero this year. They are doing it the right way practicing all due diligence.

natsfan1a said...

Like I said, a routine BP session. :-)

From Mark's twitter thingy on this page:

Strasburg about to throw live BP to Bernadina, Ankiel, DeRosa. Dang, no Harper.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Bill "Rock-a-Billy" Ladson beats NatsJack people ...

http://p.twimg.com/AmmD2z7CEAEM0oo.jpg#twimg

Gonat said...

Anonymous said...
Finally JayB,

How is it that Milwaukee could go into the NLCS? With Nyjer Morgan in CF? Answer that? Is it because Morgan was better than everyone in DC thought?

February 26, 2012 11:34 AM
_______________________________

Many commenters on here saw Nyjer for what he was. A talented LH batter against RH pitching and better not leading off. A poor baserunner when you consider his pickoffs and caught stealing. A below average outfield arm. A troublemaker.

What did the Brewers do? They took him out of leadoff and moved him to 2nd in the batting order and put him in a platoon and took away his ability to steal without the steal sign.

Cease the Opportunity said...

That's just about right,given that the Nationals will lose in the 2012 WS, and then win the following seven. He'll be here for eight straight WS. Just saying...

Anonymous said...

What did the Brewers do? They took him out of leadoff and moved him to 2nd in the batting order and put him in a platoon and took away his ability to steal without the steal sign.

Point is he managed to produce a great deal more offensively than good-ol-white-guy Ankiel. I still believe there are way too many racial overtones on this board. Its shameful.

Finally, Morgan or any lead-off hitter weren't the key to the Brewer's winning. Offensively it was Braun and Fielder. Its why Braun won the MVP. As any astute follower of baseball would realize.

Anonymous said...

More from Rock-a-Billy Ladson:

http://p.twimg.com/AmmGWOECEAAtFpC.jpg#twimg

Smatt1001 said...

Good to see Zim locked up.

Anonymous said...

Courtesy of main Ladson rival C Heist:

http://lockerz.com/s/187427955
http://lockerz.com/s/187429606

Nothin' from NatsJack so far ... ha!

Anonymous said...

Pete Kerzel with a twitvid of Bryce Harper vs. Drew Storen

http://www.twitvid.com/HO3DR

Anonymous said...

Check out my twitpics. Oh wait, I don't have any.

Anonymous said...

Check out my twitpics. Oh wait, I don't have any.

As Henry Ford once said, "I have others to do that for me." ;)

Roberto said...

"The way to determine team friendly will be his output on the field."

By that definition, virtually no contract is team friendly when it is signed, since no one can know with any certainty whether the player's output will be worth what he is being paid.

That being the case, team friendly has to be defined another way. In this case, it's how much could a player get on the free market versus how much he will sign for.

In my estimation, a healthy Zimmerman in 2013 would have gotten more than the $6/96 million Adrian Beltre got from Texas in 2011. He would be two years younger and he has been, even with the injuries, more consistent than Beltre.

Since the Nats are essentially paying Zimmerman what the Rangers paid Beltre and part of that is deferred, then I think that it is team-friendly, albeit not without risk.

Drew said...

People, let's focus on what's really important -- like Sec. 3's new mug shot.

Charles B. Evans, 1839-1915, of Schuylkill, Pa., enlisted in April 1861 with the "First Defenders". He was shot through the left leg at Second Manassas.

As that famed Civil War historian Casey Stengel used to say: "You could look it up."

natsfan1a said...

Dang, sec3, you've really held up well for your age. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Sec 3 must have played in the first Nationals game on the white house lawn.

Gonat said...

“In my opinion, it’s just another indication the organization is moving in the right direction,” shortstop Ian Desmond said. “To lock up a guy and show loyalty to your franchise player ... and to see ‘Zim’ be happy at home, and not to have to worry about that any more, it’s going to be nice. I’m happy for him. We definitely need him.”

Anonymous said...

The important stuff: (courtesy of Mark)

Though no-trade clause doesn't apply until '14, Rizzo says as long as he's still GM, Zim "will not be traded the next 2 years."

jd said...

I think that this is a tremendous deal for everyone. The Nats get potential below market deal and Zim gets the certainty and security he was looking for. With all the cynicism around its really nice to see a deal where everyone wins. Nicely done.

NatsLady said...

Y'know, I generally don't pay much mind to what GMs say. But when a guy flat-out says, "Zim will not be traded," I'm going with that. That's a promise he's making not only to Zim, but to the other players and to the City.

I'm assuming that this was an extension and not a renegotiation of the present contract, so they didn't want to open up the current contract and revise the terms. But I would say Rizzo's words constitute a verbal agreement that could hold up in court--any lawyers here want to weigh in?

jd said...

JayB,

You don't need to have an all star at every position to win. The Cards had a so so lineup to go with Pujols and Holliday and won the world series and the Giants won with a crap lineup 2 years ago. The Nats have assembled a terrific rotation, have a lot of young major league ready talent in place, an MVP level prospect on the way and a great asset in Rendon not far behind.

I am optimistic; I think we are still a year away but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Julie B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theophilus said...

Roberto is exactly right re what Z'man might have commanded as a free agent. Looking toward the 2014 season, Yankees, Dodgers, Tigers and Braves would probably have been in the mix. Lots of highly motivated, financially capable bidders.

Second, I don't think Beltre is a true benchmark. After the egg he laid in Seattle, he had to rebuild his value w/ a one-year deal in Boston; Boston wasn't very eager to re-sign him. His market value was seriously diminished and his deal was commensurately less than it might have been had he consistently performed at the level of his last season in LA.

Beltre wasn't signed as the franchise's most visible player; Zimmerman was. You get a premium for being the SI covergirl. All told, the Nats did very well in this negotiation.

JayB said...

What would stop you from signing a top RH bat off the bench to a one year contract? How about a RH CF that is not 39 and not even willing to come to ST?

Yes I agree they are making great progress from a worst in baseball level.....so does that mean they should not do everything they can to be as good as they can. One year deals for a few million will not hurt any prospect of block anyone.

Let Teddy Win said...

Could not have wished for Rizzo to negotiate a friendlier deal than this. The right number of years, the right price, the right options. Another smart baseball move by the boys on South Capitol Street. Here's to a healthy rest-of-his career for Mr. Zimmerman!

NatsNuts said...

http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/33714192/34998547

Count me as one that sees this as a risky extension. I'm not saying it is bad. Just risky. The Nats had 2 years to play with before they had to make the decision.

jd said...

JayB,

The reason to have some optimism regarding Desmond at leadoff is that he did exatly the right things the last 6 weeks last year. I am not talking about results as much as a change of approach. He started going deeper into counts, spoiling good pitches and striking out less. I understand that this could be a mirage but I do believe in the possibility that DJ did get to him and that he will be a decent above average leadoff guy going forward.

Sunderland said...

Risk if you do, risk if you don't. Risk all around. Can't avoid it.

jd said...

NatsNuts,

But there is also risk in waiting one more year from a team's perspective. If Zim puts up a 7.5 WAR year like he did in 09 and 10 you don't get a sniff of this type of contract. Now it is in everyone's best interests for Zim to have a great year.

JayB said...

yes.......

ID could be a completely changed hitter this year......you could bank your franchises first change at a winning season on ID being a changed hitter after 10,000 ABs and 8 years of pro baseball.....but would that be smart decision based on a few weeks against Sept call ups and teams that had clinched division?

I do not think that is a smart move.

A DC Wonk said...


Though no-trade clause doesn't apply until '14, Rizzo says as long as he's still GM, Zim "will not be traded the next 2 years."


So, what's the drawback of putting it, specifically, into the contract?

NatsNut said...

$26M in 2020 will probably be league minimum.

Mick said...

time for the Nats to ROLL!!!!!

Mick said...

Nay sayers, this shows potential free agents in the future that Nats are for real and will reward players who play well. Now, let's hope Desmond can be a decent lead off guy, Werth can hit the friggin ball with men on base, LaRouche can stay healthy and Davey does not try to over manage

Anonymous said...

What would stop you from signing a top RH bat off the bench to a one year contract? How about a RH CF that is not 39 and not even willing to come to ST?

They tried that with Johnny Gomes remember? And lost a pretty decent left-handed reliever prospect in Manno as a result. Something they are actually in dire need of: Left-handed short relief. Burnett has been terrible of late as was Slaten. McCoy? Severino? Hall? Smoker? Who? No one yet ...

The right handed bat is named Mark DeRosa. Davey's choice. blame him for that one. As for additional right handed pop off the bench? How does Jesus Flores strike you? How about a guy that can get on base and make something happen? Switch hitter Stephen Lombardozzi AGAIN. Yes, JayB that name is going to keep reappearing ....

And then there's a guy about to go to Harrisburg named Destin Hood a B grade prospect according to Sickels. Tyler Moore (on the 40-man) will be in Syracuse. Perhaps Bryce Harper as well ...

In other words, JayB, Johnson has made it a point to state time and time again that he prefers working going inside the system for the additional pieces. He has Rick Ankiel, Corey Brown, Jayson Werth, and Roger Bernadina to choose from for CF. Someone who can field the position IS NOT AN ISSUE ... not even close to putting Milledge out there as Bowden did.

Its PROGRESS not perfection. Let's wait and see what the Syracuse/Harrisburg rosters look like before jumping to conclusions.

I suspect both Lannan and Bernadina will be traded ... I am hoping they get some decent prospects in exchange as the CF issue probably can't be worked out until after LaRoche is gone and at the July 31st trading deadline ... if then. Meanwhile, all the potential CF's they do have, have an opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Count me as one that sees this as a risky extension. I'm not saying it is bad. Just risky. The Nats had 2 years to play with before they had to make the decision.

It makes sense to do it now rather than wait for the final year. At that point his value could be a great deal higher than what they signed him for. Bowden tried to make an argument against by showing his ISO and ground ball percentage. But that's now what wins game JimBo and why we had to suffer with guys like Wily Mo Pena.

Zim's rBAA, his batted runs were 2nd only to Morse in an injury year. Think about that. Zim gets runs across the plate somehow someway no matter what. That's what wins games. That's who you want as one of your anchors. It also helps that he plays above average defensively in the infield.

baseballswami said...

Been out of touch so far today but did get the text announcing the news! So happy for all of us. It's going to be a fun year :)

natsfan1a said...

http://instantrimshot.com/

That, and new post. :-)

NatsNut said...

$26M in 2020 will probably be league minimum.
February 26, 2012 3:19 PM

Roberto said...

"But there is also risk in waiting one more year from a team's perspective. If Zim puts up a 7.5 WAR year like he did in 09 and 10 you don't get a sniff of this type of contract."

Exactly! I was among those who thought that the extension could wait but then I read (I don't recall where) this same point elsewhere. A Zimmerman that puts up a 7 WAR season is going to cost a lot more than $6/100 million to lock up long-term.

What's more, Fangraphs points out that the players most comparable to Zimmerman kept their WAR in the 4.5 to 5.5 range through their age 34 seasons. At about 4 million per WAR, that's $18-20 per season in 2011 dollars. That's why Cameron called it a "pretty fair price for a good player."

Obviously, it' not the Tampa/Longoria deal -- that's one that borders on attorney malpractice. But it's a good deal for Washington.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Drew, thanks for noticing! Just another blow against the Anonymity Meme. I liked the "First Defenders of Washington" idea, though I had to hesitate over the Philly connections. Finally decided the Phils didn't exist yet, so that didn't count.

And speaking of that, 3:24, Chris Manno may yet develop into a decent reliever, but he is still in high-A, IIRC, so that is 50-50 at best: He will or he won't. And Burnett has *not* "been terrible of late, as was Slaten." Slaten was terrible, and is gone. Burnett had an extended bad stretch, which he seems to have fixed, after a solid year or more of good work.

SFNats said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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