The Nationals have been kicking the tires on Prince Fielder and recently locked up Gio Gonzalez long-term, but now they're focusing on their homegrown star. MLB.com's Bill Ladson reports that the team is currently discussing a contract extension with Ryan Zimmerman. Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post says (on Twitter) that the two sides have been talking for a while, but they're no closer to a deal.
The 27-year-old Zimmerman still has two years remaining on the five-year, $45MM contract he signed prior to the 2009 season. He'll make $12MM in 2012 and $14MM in 2013. Zimmerman has been one of the game's best players in recent years, hitting .296/.370/.499 with 70 homers over the last three seasons with stellar defense at the hot corner. He earned MVP votes in 2009 and 2010, and probably would have again in 2011 if he didn't miss two months due to an abdomenal problem.
Zimmerman's camp is likely looking at extensions recently signed by Troy Tulowitzki (six years, $119MM) and Ryan Braun (five years, $105MM) as framework for a new deal. All three players were selected within the top seven picks of the 2005 draft, as were Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, and Ricky Romero. Zimmerman is represented by Brodie Van Wagenen.