Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Zim, Nats expected to meet this week

Associated Press file photo
Ryan Zimmerman doesn't want to negotiate a contract once camp officially opens.
VIERA, Fla. -- Ryan Zimmerman's agent was at the Nationals workout this morning and is expected to meet with general manager Mike Rizzo in the next few days to pick up negotiations on a long-term contract extension.

Brodie Van Wagenen, who represents Zimmerman along with several other Nationals players including John Lannan and Drew Storen, is making his annual tour of spring training facilities to visit his clients. But the Zimmerman contract remains a top priority both for him and for the franchise.

Van Wagenen declined to comment on the negotiations but indicated he's likely to have an update on the situation in the next day or two.

Though Zimmerman has two years remaining on his current $45 million deal, both he and the club have expressed an interest to work out a long-term extension for more than a year now. Zimmerman has also said he won't negotiate once spring training officially opens for all position players (the first full-squad workout is scheduled for Saturday) so that creates a potentially small window for the two sides to try to work something out.

There is some incentive for Zimmerman to wait until next offseason to sign, considering he's coming off an injury-plagued 2011 in which he hit .289 with 12 homers and 49 RBI. If he stays healthy and duplicates his peak performances from 2009-10 (when he averaged 29 homers, 96 RBI and a .299 average) he could command a more significant package.

The 27-year-old third baseman, though, has always expressed his desire to stay in Washington for his entire career and has previously shown a willingness to sign a contract at a point when his value was down. (The current five-year, $45 million deal was signed at the start of the 2009 season, after Zimmerman missed much of 2008 due to a shoulder injury.)

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Leave the drama for your mama.

Brian Benson said...

Hey Mark: I really look forward to your updates and coverage of the Nats....great job...

Tcostant said...

At least 5 more years at $18M per (Jason Werth's average salary) is the minimum needed to get this deal done. If Rizzo offers less than that, the answer will be "see you next year" and we'll both see who it will cost more than.

And I don't blame Zimm either; he deserves at least Werth's average dollars per year.

P.S. Mark - I loved the Sports Fix visit a few moments ago...

David said...

So Boz today even brought this up in his chat while answering a question about Lannan. "But Wang's history w Yanks is so strong, you have to see what he has. Remember, there is no rush. Pitchers tend to have mysterious (or real) injuries just in time for roster problems to be solved before Opening Day." I should start putting odds on the chances of a "mystery injury"!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Leave the anonymity for another vicinity...
ehh, not quite. I'll work on that some more and get back to you.

Bob Marley said...

Save the Anon for somewhere else, mon. Ehhh, probably not.

Jack Hanna said...

Save the innominate for your, um, marmot?

I need a bon-bon. Later.

Young Pitchers said...

Tcostant,

JWerth has a couple of rings; RZim has none. He does not deserve anything.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Pace yourself, Jack. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

whatsanattau said...

Zimm's a keeper. Nice to know they are talking. Move on...

Principal Strickland said...

SLACKERS!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

They're not supposed to pay for what you've done, but what you're going to do. (Yeah, I know. Still.)

natsfan1a said...

Woo hoo! It's Bon-bon time.

(And show Zimm the money!)

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Pace yourself, Jack. It's a marathon, not a sprint.
February 22, 2012 1:37 PM

PAY TO PLAY said...

If we were at February 22nd 2013 and nothing was in the bag, I would be overly concerned. Its not my money but it is the team I follow. I don't want them to throw silly money at him if it means that will tie the Nats hands. If they did a 7 year extension on top of the 2 years remaining + 2 vesting options then he is tied up for the rest of his career (in terms of Cameron years).

J.R. "Bob" Dobbs said...

Principal Strickland said...
SLACKERS!


That's an offensive religious slur. I'm leaving! Well, I would be if I weren't already dead.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I just tee them bonbons up, 1a.

Tcostant said...

Rings - Werth isn't the starting QB of a Super Bowl team. Come on there. BTW - where did he get that second ring from, all I remember is 2008?

Do I think anyone is worth $18M/year; of course not. But if I was Zimm, I wouldn't sign for less than that this offseason.

Anonymous said...

If I'm Rizzo, I only ink that Zim extension if there's a real discount. The club cannot afford to be tied to a(nother) big, bad contract at the point where it is finally reaching legitimacy. Zim needs to show he's truly an elite guy and that he can stay healthy before the club throws some huge ocean of money at him.

Anonymous said...

There's pretty much no reason that Zim should be the highest paid 3B in the bigs (other than A-Rod) at this point, so $18M is on the high side. No other 3B has gotten that kind of money. So, it's not much of a risk for the Nats to wait until next year to negotiate with Zim if they are willing to pay that kind of money now, no? Zim bears the injury risk not the club.

dfh21

Anonymous said...

Even coming off of an injury year Zim still managed to finish as the 2nd best hitter in the lineup by a pretty wide margin. So, it makes sense to say that he isn't affected by injuries, he is still young, he could play 2nd base if needed or even shortstop. He's too good for first base.

From a purely statistical viewpoint it makes sense to extend Zim now after a relatively down year for him. Just as it made sense to extend Gio. It helps keep payroll costs under control for the foreseeable future.

sunderland said...

Zimmerman had the same artificial deadline in 2009, and negotiations continued until within hours of the first pitch of opening day. It will get done, but it might not be this year.

Tcostant said...

You guys don't get it, you pay him $18M a year now, so you don't have to pay him $20M a year in two years for more years at the back end. BTW - last I check; Miguel Cabrera will play 3B this year and his contract averages over $19M a year. So stop that other than A-Rod stuff.

Anonymous said...

Tcostant -- I hear you, but I think that $18M is an overpay as things stand now. What does Zim's agent say to Rizzo to make the argument that the Nats should pay that amount? Will the market be lining up to pay more than that much later? Unless the answer is Hell Yes, then the Nats should pass at that price. It does not make much sense to lock up a guy 2 years out from FA when you're not getting a price break.

And MCab's not such a good comp -- he signed his deal as a 1B, and he was younger than Zim by a couple of years, had no injury history at all and he inked his big contract after hitting 37 HR's and knocking in 126 (in Comerica Park no less) and leading the AL in total bases (and after 4 straight years of 100 RBI production). MCab might be the best hitter in the AL, even with Pujols and Fielder coming in, Zim's just not in his league at this point in time.

dfh21

sm13 said...

Pay the man. 7 years for $150m should make everyone happy and leave the Lerners with $100m left over from what Prince would.have cost them. This needs to be done NOW!

Tcostant said...

Anon 3:53PM

Bottom line that is what it will take now to extend him (5 more year at $18M per), with his current two years at $45M total, that seems about right to me.

As I explained, if he has another 29 homer 100 RBI year in the next two; he will get over $20M per year for 7 years (or more). The issue is he'll be 29 then, not 27 like he is now; so those last few years will be after age 35 - HUGE. Even if he is injuried prone, he'll just get what Reyes got. Which is close to what we are talking about now, doesn't included contract inflaction and still will go into his 35 birthday.

You wait, you pay more or loss him; I don't want that to happen. SM13 is right, pay the man (or someone else will).

Anonymous said...

At more than $20M AAV, I think that they should feel OK at risking losing him. If he fails to produce at elite levels year in and year out at that amount of money, the club's behind the 8 Ball for years. Zim is a great player but he's just not worth that kind of risk, if it were my money at least.

dfh21

RABBIT said...

I'd feel ok losing him at 1(one) million. I'd feel ok losing any of the players on any team for one million. Sounds crazy? So does 20 million a year.

Ray said...

Pay him. Or the Yankees will. Once in a lifetime player for this franchise.

Anonymous said...

The Yanks are not going to be in the market for Zim, unless he'll play LF for them. So that ain't happening.

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