Feb 23, 2012, 3:16 PM EST
VIERA, Fla. — Though the Nationals and Ryan Zimmerman don't appear to have made any substantial advances toward a long-term extension, general manager Mike Rizzo indicated this morning he still believes a deal can get done.
"We're working extremely hard at it, and both teams want something and are working at it," Rizzo said. "So yeah, I'm hopeful."
Brodie Van Wagenen, Zimmerman's agent, arrived in Viera yesterday and intends to meet with Rizzo while in town to pick up negotiations on a long-term contract that has been in the works since last spring. Though Zimmerman's current deal runs through next season, the third baseman has said he won't negotiate once camp officially opens for position players Saturday, potentially pushing back any more talks until next winter.
Zimmerman's rationale for ending negotiations before the start of camp: He doesn't want this saga to become a distraction and take away from either his or his teammates' preparation for the season.
"I don't think it will be a distraction either way, I really don't. Because we won't allow it to be," Rizzo said. "We've got a player here who wantsRead more »
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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