Nationals Links: Zimmerman, Rizzo, Harper

The Nationals signed franchise cornerstone Ryan Zimmerman to a six-year, $100MM extension over the weekend, and can now turn their full attention to Spring Training. Here are some links from the nation's capitol, starting with notes on baseball's newest $100MM man…

  •'s Keith Law argues that Zimmerman should have had to prove his ability to stay healthy before obtaining such a large guarantee from the Nationals, who have promising third base prospect Anthony Rendon in their system.
  • Matt Swartz of FanGraphs compares Zimmerman to players who signed long-term deals at similar stages in their careers and concludes that comparable agreements have been worthwhile for teams in recent years.
  • Mark Zuckerman of has the year-by-year breakdown of Zimmerman's extension. The third baseman will earn $12MM in 2012, $14MM each year from 2013-2018, and $18MM in 2019. The $18MM option for 2020 comes with a $2MM buyout. Zuckerman explains how the personal services contract and escalator payments fit into the deal.
  • Amanda Comak of The Washington Times notes (on Twitter) that a $10MM "personal services" provision raises the value of the new extension to exactly $100MM.
  • “It feels good,” said GM Mike Rizzo to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post in the wake of the signing. “You have payroll certainty. You have control of players … And there’s a lot of comfort to the fact these guys are going to be together for a long time … And now we’re ready to take off.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports predicts that Bryce Harper will be with the Nationals early in the season, but not before April 25th. He notes that the outfielder must spend at least 20 days in the minors to delay his free agency by a year.

Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.

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