The Latest On Ryan Zimmerman

The Nationals and Ryan Zimmerman are reportedly close to a long-term contract extension, with no-trade language being the largest remaining hurdle. The third baseman's self-imposed deadline for a new deal is 10am ET this morning, as's Bill Ladson reports (on Twitter). Here's the latest, with the newest info up top…

  • Rizzo said the two sides made progress and the Nats believe a deal will be struck either tonight or early tomorrow, according to Kilgore, Zuckerman, and Comak (all Twitter links). "We feel good and optimistic Zim is going to be a Washington National for a long, long time," said the GM. "I don't see any major stumbling blocks. More detail-oriented work that needs to be done."
  • "Nothing is done until it's done, but both sides are optimistic," said Zimmerman's agent Brodie Van Wagenen in a statement according to Comak and Kilgore (all Twitter links). "While nothing is finalized, I am confident we can reach an agreement … [we are] working on a structure that will allow the team to continue to add talent and establish a winner."
  • A source told ESPN's Jim Bowden that there will be closure to negotiations tonight, one way or the other (Twitter link).
  • Zimmerman acknowledged that the no-trade issue is "basically the only thing left" to settle, tweets Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.
  • Rizzo told reporters (including Kilgore and Comak) that they're working on a "very lucrative, very complicated" extension (Twitter links). "We don't have an agreement at this time," confirmed the GM.
  • "Today is the day," Zimmerman said to reporters after today's workout, including Amanda Comak of The Washington Times (Twitter links). "Both sides are working to get over the last couple of hurdles." He said they've gone back and proposed a "creative" solution to bridge the gap.
  • The deadline has passed and players are out on the field for their workout, report Ladson and Kerzel (Twitter links). There is no word as to whether an extension has been reached.
  • "The ball has been in the Nationals' court for quite some time," said Zimmerman to reporters, including Ladson (Twitter links). "I'm waiting like the rest of you."
  • GM Mike Rizzo responded with a simple "no" when asked if there was anything new to report, says Pete Kerzel of (on Twitter).
  • Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington mentions that the deadline is a soft deadline, and something could still get worked out in the near future (Twitter links). He points out that Zimmerman's last contract was announced three weeks after its deadline.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

27 Responses to The Latest On Ryan Zimmerman Leave a Reply

  1. James Attwood 3 years ago

    This is one of those instances where I am just left scratching my head. After this season is over, Zimmerman will only be 2 years removed from being a 10/5 guy, at which point he has no-trade protection anyway. If the Nats are looking to extend him, it seems pretty apparent that Zimmerman would be in DC for at LEAST those 2 years while this team that has just been built gets a chance to compete and finish coming into its own.

    Is it REALLY that important to be able to trade Zimmerman in the next 2 years? And if so, what does that say about the “building” of the team?

    • elbeisbol 3 years ago

      Agreed. NTC in exchange for the healthy discount Zimmerman was offering seemed like a no-brainer to me. 

    • skoods 3 years ago

      Ryan Zimmerman will soon be in the league 10 years? Jeez…how old am I?

      • jwsox 3 years ago

        I was thinking the exact same thing then i looked it up on fangraphs he made his major league debut in 2005 but was not a full time player untill 2006 so he will be a 10/5 guy either in 2015 or 2016(depending on how the league looks at his 20 games and 62 PA’s in 2005

    • Natsfan89 3 years ago

      At the end of the 2010 season Zimmerman missed the last 2 weeks with an oblique strain. Then last year he had the same sort of injury early in Spring Training. He said it was a non-factor but it got worse when the season started and eventually led to an abdominal tear that required surgery. His throwing motion wasn’t the same after coming back. There was also the shoulder injury he had back in 2008 that sidelined him for a long time.

      When he’s healthy he’s amazing. I just think Nats management wants to see that he can stay healthy.

      • James Attwood 3 years ago

        It would simply seem to make more sense to me to tie Zimmerman’s contract length or total dollars to his health, and not an NTC. If there are health concerns, either shorten the contract, or, provide incentive boosters for any production above average.

        But if he is going to be on the team for 2 more years (injured or not), he’ll have no-trade protection anyway. He could spend an entire season on the shelf injured. Once he reaches 10/5, it won’t matter if the Nats included the NTC in his contract or not. Extending him for even one season beyond his current contract will make him a 10/5 player. So in essence, the Nats refusing to include the NTC is saying that they want the ability to trade him in the first year of his extension. That makes no sense.

        • elbeisbol 3 years ago

          Exactly. And it sounds like Zimmerman is giving them a healthy home town discount in exchange for a 3-4 year NTC. It seems like a no-brainer to me. 

    • Bradley Spies 3 years ago

       I guess they might be “worried” that if Rendon progresses quickly they might need that 2 year window to have at least a little flexibility.  Even if Zim is the one you keep, having the option of trading him should give you better leverage if you shop Rendon, no?

      Just spitballing though, can’t think of any other reasons it would be a holdup if they’re in agreement on money.

      • jwsox 3 years ago

        if rendon progresses quickly they could simply move Zimmerman to 1st and solve that problem. It would also actually help Zimmerman have a longer career. We all heard(im not even a nats fan) from espn, mlb network and other sites and publications out there. After his injury last year he had to change the way he was doing things. He had to change the way he fielded/ charged balls, the way he threw was changed, and his swing was altered. Moving him to first solves 2 of those issues. The first basemen rarely has to throw unless throwing home or to try and start a double play. 1st basemen dont normally charge balls. It could actually benefit him to move to 1st and extend his career

        • Bradley Spies 3 years ago

           Of course it’s an option (as is moving Rendon to another position), but they probably want to have as many options as possible.  What if they have a better 1st baseman than Zim (at least offensively) when the time comes to make the decision?  Not saying it’s likely, but you never know what it will look like when you have to make these decisions.

          I wouldn’t flinch at giving him the NTC over those years if the deal is nice, of course, but maybe they want to hold on to a little flexibility.  Dunno.

    • jwsox 3 years ago

      he very well may want the NTC for those two years. Lets say the Nats play well this year and struggle next season. But but the 2014 season lets say Rendon is ready to start in the bigs. I know its a stretch but the nats seem willing to get guys going fast. Stras 2 years ago and possibly even harper this season. If rendon is ready Zimmerman might be expendable(at least for a salary dump and to get some prospects back) his 10-5 rights not havin kicked in yet he could be traded. 

  2. Paul Shailor 3 years ago

    Wont Zimmerman have 10 and 5 rights soon anyways? Why is this a holdup?

    • jb226 3 years ago

      Service time is somewhat more complicated than some people think.  From what I have sussed out, a year is defined as 172 days (there are something like 185 days in the regular season) and DL stints do count.  But even though there are more days in a season than in a year of service, the player can still only earn those 172 days each year.

      In any event, according to Baseball-Reference Ryan Zimmerman has 6.032 years of service time as of January 2012.  So it seems like right at the end of the 2015 season is where his 10-5 rights would kick in.  That’s almost four full seasons, which makes it a bigger deal than some people are making it out to be.

  3. 5 years – 80 Million + vesting option for the 6th year (around same AAV) sounds about right to me.. I would throw in the no trade clause too because his 10-5 rights will kick in after 2014 anyways.

  4. FS54 3 years ago

    my whole weekend is ruined because I have been waiting in front of my computer.

  5. elbeisbol 3 years ago

    This is done according to Kilgore. Good stuff. 

  6. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    good thing teams never have to give them out then huh

    aren’t you the same guy who complained about players setting negotiation deadlines? i’m hardly a union man, but your hostility toward the players is a little weird

  7. James Attwood 3 years ago

    Players are never going to give up 10/5 protection. And as long as that protection remains, there will always be attempts by players to work that protection innto their contracts earlier so that they have more leverage when dealing with their new team.

  8. Bradley Spies 3 years ago

     Yeah, but presumably they’re giving up $$ in return for the NTC.  Especially with Zimmerman, why should he take a hometown discount if he doesn’t have control over where he plays during the life of the deal?

  9. BitLocker 3 years ago

    That’s why teams have the option to not sign players who want no-trade clauses. That’s what the Marlins did when Pujols wanted a no-trade clause. Plus, no-trade clauses are good for the player because then they don’t have to adjust to a new stadium, different league, and new players with a different culture every 2-3 years.

    E.G: Edwin Jackson

  10. jwsox 3 years ago

    Its really the teams fault. The are the one who agree to sign players to contract with NTC’s. Most of the time a player is willing to take less money, I’m not talking a crazy discount but a discount none the less, to stay with a team if there is some sort of no trade language in the contract. Since teams at times are unwilling to match the salary demands of a player and an agent they agree to slightly lesser deals with not trade clauses. But there are more than enough time when players want no trade clauses, and teams will walk away because they are not willing to have a no trade clause or are not willing to pay the money to make up for not having a NTC. Also there are more than enough instances where players have come out and said “I would lift my no trade clause, if it helped the team, or if it got them to a contender or closer to home”

    Derek Lee said it with the cubs, Paul Konerko, AJ, and Buehrle all said it last year. Players lift them all the time.

  11. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    apples and oranges are both fruits. in this case both of those two issues, while different, are about the privileges players have when it comes to their contract negotiations. they are different, but related

    i happen to agree with you that giving out NTCs is bad policy for a team. but you said you think it should have been addressed in the CBA. that’s weird to me

  12. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    apples and oranges are both fruits. in this case both of those two issues, while different, are about the privileges players have when it comes to their contract negotiations. they are different, but related

    i happen to agree with you that giving out NTCs is bad policy for a team. but you said you think it should have been addressed in the CBA. that’s weird to me

  13. xthetouristx 3 years ago

    It will be 7 full seasons after the 2012 season, unless the MLB counts the 20 games in 2005 as a full season.  That would mean he would be eligible for 10/5 rights either after the 2014 season ends or after the 2015 season ends.

  14. Ben Fink 3 years ago

    I don’t see why it shouldn’t be allowed just because it is bad for a team. Free agency is bad for teams, so are giving big contracts and having arbitration start at 3 years instead of 5. 
    If a player wants protection against having to change their team and the city they live in, who’s to say they can’t? The team is signing a guaranteed contract with the player saying they will play for some amount of time and some amount of money, I don’t think it’s ridiculous for the player to also try to get a guarantee on where they are going to play. A NTC basically functions like a bonus to the contract and I’m sure in most contracts with NTC language the team could have eliminated that had they paid enough money.
    A team doesn’t have to give out NTC’s just like they don’t have to give out $100MM contracts. Some teams don’t do either, and it’s a move that will help the team sometimes and hinder it others. 
    Signing Barry Zito to his 7 years $126MM contract is what gave the Giants payroll issues, his NTC did not. Even if they had free rein to trade him anywhere, they would still be financially crippled in about any deal (unless they trade him to the Angels).
    In a similar vein, guaranteed contracts are also bad for teams. What if teams were allowed to void or lessen contracts if players didn’t perform to the team’s expectations? Eliminating NTC’s would just be a blow to player’s rights. 

  15. jb226 3 years ago

    You know what else is bad for a team?  Not being able to sign a player they need, or having to pay millions of dollars extra to sign him, because they refuse to offer an NTC.  We have an example of that right in front of us.

    Removing NTCs would be the absolute end of the concept of “hometown discounts.”  Nobody wants to get Bronson Arroyo’d, and if they ever thought teams had some sort of loyalty I’d say that notion has been gone for quite some time.  In fact this whole discussion is about ways for the team to dump a player if they don’t want to honor their commitment anymore.  There will be a definite cost to that.

    Maybe it’s a bad idea to give an NTC anyway, but the team should be the one to choose which risk they want to take.

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