Skip to content

Zim, Nats progressing toward extension

Feb 23, 2012, 11:59 PM EDT

VIERA, Fla. — Negotiations between the Nationals and Ryan Zimmerman have progressed, and though a deal has not been completed yet, the two sides are moving closer to a long-term extension that would keep the third baseman in Washington for years to come, according to sources familiar with the discussions.

Brodie Van Wagenen, Zimmerman's agent, and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo met this afternoon in Viera, though they left the meeting without a deal in place. Zimmerman has set a Saturday deadline to work something out; after that, he says he won't negotiate until after the season.

"As far as I know, there are no new negotiations going on, but Brodie's been down here," Zimmerman told Comcast SportsNet's Kelli Johnson this evening. "They've been talking a little bit. We still have a couple days, but like you said, I'd love to play here the rest of my careerRead more ยป

  1. Gonat - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Sounds very encouraging. I hope it comes out as a Win Win for everyone and leads to Nats win wins for years to come and POST-SEASON!

  2. MicheleS - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    As I said before…Pay the man Shirley!

  3. Mr. Doggett - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    They'll get it done, no doubt. … but what do you do with Rendon if there's a no trade clause?

  4. gonatsgo - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    Trade Rendon — there are quite a few teams fielding people at third this year that aren't even qualified to play the position.It doesn't seem like a very deep position. In any case – this season we don't have to do anything about it. Rendon hasn't even started playing yet.

  5. Anonymous - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    Why trade Rendon. Move him to 2b. 2013 lineup:CF Bourn2B Rendon3B Zim1B MorseRF HarperSS EspiLF WerthC Ramos

  6. HHover - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    There are a number of options with Rendon – no need to decide now.

  7. Feel Wood - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Feel Wood.. take a look at Mark's most recent post on RZimm.Reporter (Zuckerman, Kilgore, whoever): So what do you think the hold up is?Source (Clubhouse guy, bullpen catcher, etc): F*** if I know. No trade clause?Reporter: Sounds good to me. So where's a good place to eat around here? I'm sick of Panera.

  8. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    I still say the insurance is the problem. Anyone know that the club asks for the player to partake of this expense?And remember, the discussion is about how to cover injuries. And ws aren't talking about a history of injury free seasons.

  9. NatsFanJim - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Trading Rendon is the absolute dumbest thing I've heard in quite some time.Sign Zim. The Nats owe him that — But not for more than 2 years. Reevaluate then — Rendon will be more than ready by then.

  10. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    Fat thumbs again. We was the word.

  11. NatsFanJim - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Trading Rendon is the absolute dumbest thing I've heard in quite some time.Sign Zim. The Nats owe him that — But not for more than 2 years. Reevaluate then — Rendon will be more than ready by then.

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    I don't think NatsFanJim deservrse a response.

  13. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    They can't trade Rendon, they just drafted him. It's against the rules.

  14. NaysJack in Florida - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Like Zim would sign for 2 years. Why do I waste my time?

  15. Unkyd - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    You're right, NatsJack……..but:Jim: Zim would agree to a 2 year extension…why, now?Sorry, NJ… I have to hear it…

  16. Anonymous - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Is there some clause in the Washington Post employment contract that says employees must suck up to Boswell? I just listened to that 106.7 interview with him (or most of it anyway, until it crashed my computer) and the guy sounds like a total hump. An arrogant, condescending hump. Clearly he started believing his own press a long time ago.

  17. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Unkyd…….I'm going tio Viera in the AM and will tweet reports an pics.@ NatsJackinFl on twitter.

  18. gonatsgo - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    I didn't mean trade him now — it's not actually a problem now and might not ever be. Stuff changes, stuff happens, situations change. Sign Zim and give him the no trade clause. If Rendon is good later and is blocked by zim, then trade him – you know, in the future.

  19. Unkyd - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Awesome, NJ… I follow you…I just need to remember to check in :-)

  20. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    I just listened to that 106.7 interview with [Boswell] (or most of it anyway, until it crashed my computer) and the guy sounds like a total hump. An arrogant, condescending hump.That's odd; he speaks so highly of you.

  21. LoveDaNats - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    I really hope this contract gets worked out. This is going to be an amazing year for the Nats. Zim is kinda like me in a (small) way. We've been here through absolutely the lowest points a ball club can see and now that things are looking up, we both want to be there for the good stuff! Whatever the holdup is…..Mr. Lerner, you won't regret locking him up and the fan base will be eternally grateful. BTW, do you really wanna see Zim on another team "walking off" against us?NatsJack…looking forward to your pics tomorrow.

  22. Erik - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    Hate to be Mr. Negative here, but no way is Zimmerman worth 18-20 million per year. So sick of hearing about the "Face of the Franchise." excuse to give him that kind of money. Nats should wait and see what they have in Rendon before giving Zim a long-term deal. All of that money could go a long way in signing either 2 very good players or a superstar player like Joey Votto. No reason to panic now and sign a "good" player when the club has 2 more years to gather more information…especially since once he signs they will not be able to trade him. I love Zim to death, but I want the Nats to win championships, too. Zim has only given the Nats 19.6 WAR in 7 seasons. I seriously doubt there are many guys like that getting 150 million dollar contracts. Joe Mauer, by comparison, has given the twins more than 40 WAR in the same time period and I thought HIS contract was a mistake.

  23. Anonymous - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Erik.. here is the good thing. The Lerner's are LOADED. It's their money, we are just playing with it!

  24. Anonymous - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    I'm strongly of the view that retaining Zimm is more than worth (pun intended) the risks involved. Mark and Kilgore give two very different takes on the likelihood, though, so I'm confused (so what else is new?. Kilgore tonight suggests "several major obstacles" are left, including no-trade clause, and the implication is it is looking unlikely. Mark seems to treat no-trade as a negotiating point but not an intractable one, and his message is the sides are coming closer. So, since we are again playing Rosencrans and Guildenstern, not really knowing what is going on, what's the informed speculation on this? Close, or close to failure?

  25. HHover - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    How can they possibly be "close to failure" when they have 2 years left to work it out?

  26. SCNatsFan - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    First of all, lets dispell two things…There is no such thing as a 'no trade' clause – its just leverage a player applies when its time for him to move on. Or leverge for an extension of the contract.Second, like sec 3 says, you can't trade Rendon even if you wanted to and why wold you trade a guy in a system devoid of offensive talent.The hard part is deciding on the value of a guy who has been injured a bunch, but like the overpriced Werth signing if this deal gets done it just adds more credibility to the franchise, which can only be a good thing moving forward. I suspect it gets done and he doesn't get what Tulowitski got but he gets a significant payday. Rendon, if he's as good as his draft spot, will find his way somewhere in the lineup, good hitters always do. Worst case scenario is we have a offensive beast stuck in the minors who will be one heck of a trade chip, a problem we as fans have only dreamed of.

  27. JaneB - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    In other news. good for Ryan Braun (and all baseball, frankly) — he won his drug testing appeal. Phew.

  28. SCNatsFan - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    JaneB, not sure if that is true. If the tech held the sample for 36 hours and that time didn't change the sample – and I have no idea if it does – and he's getting off on a technicality then I think it sends a horrible message. I haven't seen the statement from the arbitrator so I'll be interested to see what he used for his decision. If this is simply another case of someone rich buying justice with great lawyers then its sad – typical, but sad.

  29. whatsanattau - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    maybe this is an old discussion thread as I had a busy day today, but have we discussed the possibility that Oswalt's best mid-season destination could be the Nationals so as to replace Strasburg when his 160 are up?

  30. FS - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    Sec 3, awesome post @ 8:43 PM.Just hope RZ is signed soon to a team-friendly deal.

  31. FS - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    whatsanattau, great idea but 160 innings last until August end. Not sure Oswalt will be available until then. It would be great if we decide to get him in June or July for fifth spot once we know we are in the hunt for sure.

  32. HHover - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:18 AM

    It's true in a sense that Braun won the appeal on a "technicality," but that was about the only he could win–the way the rules are written, a player can't get off by claiming that he didn't intentionally or knowingly take a supplement, and it's virtually impossible to attack the science of the test itself. But because he won on a "technicality," it means that plenty of people will continue to suspect that he used a PED.

  33. HHover - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    erm, make that "intentionally or knowingly take a PED"

  34. NatsNuts - Feb 24, 2012 at 4:05 AM

    Erik, you are right. He will be grossly overpaid just like Werth and unfortunately when players are overpaid there will be others like Morse who may not get his payday here because of budgetary constraints. I don't care how supposedly rich Lerner is, there are still limits called the budget.

  35. nats guy - Feb 24, 2012 at 6:37 AM

    The Ryan Braun decision will have major ramifications on the CBA. It could be as big as the case involving Curt Flood and the reserve clause. I don't believe there will be a friendly CBA again. The players are all going to be tainted by this.

  36. MicheleS - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Nats Guy.Totally agree. It's going to hurt both sides, because they can't trust the testing system. I hope they come together and amend/fix this. Too much good will over the last 20 years to be lost over this.

  37. NatsLady - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Here is a link to the Yahoo article explaining in detail what happened. I also read Braun's statement. I guess they are happy in Milwaukee, but no one else seems to be.http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-passan_ryan_braun_appeal_drug_program_selig_022312

  38. natsfan1a - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    After reading this ESPN piece, I don't see the Braun decision as being good for baseball. According to the piece, Braun did not argue tampering, nor did he call the science of the testing into question. Rather he questioned the chain of custody. According to a source quoted in the piece, a delay in delivery of the specimen would not have caused a positive reading for exogenous testosterone.

  39. Constant Reader - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Braun's case is a total nightmare. The process calls for complete confidentiality. None of us should know ANYTHING about his test and his 'successful' appeal. Now a popular player, a star signed to a long term deal from a smaller market team that helps make the case for competitive balance is totally sullied due in large part due to the fact that he in no way challenged the outcome of the test, the science of the test, even that the technicality that allowed him to declare his innocence could have led to a compromised outcome. The only way Braun can 'save his good name and restore his reputation' is to provide something to the public that sounds like a remotely explanation for the outcome. Again, something that under the CBA he should NEVER have to do.Total nightmare.

  40. NatsJack in Florids - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    ESPN's Baseball Tonite bus pulled up to Space Coast Stadium about 15 minutes ago.

  41. Rabbit - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    They should do what the government does. Put together a super committee made up of people who couldn't get it done in the first place. Then watch them not get it done again. Oh wait, they did that already. So, now we're back to…couldn't get it done in a couple of years so let's get it done, now, in a couple of days. Yeah, for the love of the game. GO NATIONALS!!

  42. Theophilus - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    If the issue w/ Zimmerman is really about a no-trade clause then they are only arguing about the next four years because, when he becomes a 10-year player the CBA gives him full trade protection. So the debate, if it continues, should only be about which clubs he can veto — whether five, ten, fifteen, usw. Find a number; give him a $3MM trade bonus, make a deal. I don't think Zimmerman has demonstrated he is "worth" $20MM/year. Like it or not, however, there are lots of not-HOF-worthy players that are making and will make $20MM/year and more. E.g., Vernon Wells. The real point is to keep the natives from revolting. So, he has to be signed at what has become the "market" price. If the Nats are truly fearful that Zimmerman will become Ray Knight instead of Mike Schmidt, they should try to shave a year or two off the deal so they don't have to get Zimmerman's consent to a trade to an AL team looking for a DH.Six years for $132MM, or seven for $150MM, sounds about right to me.If insurance, as Nats Jack says, is driving the Lerners' fears, then try to back-load the contract, like the Ramirez deal, and use the time value of money to pay the insurance premiums.There are so many ways to skin this cat . . ..

  43. Unkyd - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Read the ESPN piece. I think it's idiocy, to time one of these collections in a manner that would necessitate a sample spending a couple of days in someone' s basement!!! That's nuts! Why, then, would Braun challenge the science, if a much more likely avenue exists to nullify the results. Guilty or innocent, Brauns strategy was smart, and effective. And, this never has to happen again, if the testing facilities ensure that samples are not handled in anything resembling a dubious manner. A process like this has to bend over backwards to avoid even the appearance of impropriety… This doesn't have to be a big deal…

  44. Gonat - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    natsfan1a said… After reading this ESPN piece, I don't see the Braun decision as being good for baseball. According to the piece, Braun did not argue tampering, nor did he call the science of the testing into question. Rather he questioned the chain of custody. According to a source quoted in the piece, a delay in delivery of the specimen would not have caused a positive reading for exogenous testosterone. February 24, 2012 7:42 AM _______________________________Their strategy was to be non-accusatory and just question the procedures while casting doubt. There was enough doubt about the unusually high reading. When chain of control procedures are broken that could mean there is the ability to tamper.

  45. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Re: Zimmerman. Word os it will get done today.

  46. Gonat - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    NatsJack, you would think it is close enough. Hopefully we hear that both sides bended some.

  47. Theophilus - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Braun has become Palmeiro. Except that Palmeiro can just keep his trap shut and isn't expected to give post-game interviews for the next 5-6 years.I don't think the public will think multitudes of players are cheating, because MLB will continue to charge, adjudicate and leak. But Braun's brilliant defense leaves him squarely in the spotlight. If his public position continues to be, "I didn't use PEDs; the test was wrong," it will be the equivalent of "I didn't bet on baseball;" nobody will believe him. He'll become as wildly adored as Alex Rodriguez (outside of NY).

  48. sjm308 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Just went through all 5 interviews with SS – he comes across as a really nice kid, no ego but you can see he cares – I am not sure I have seen him sit and talk for such a long time – credit Kelli J. with probably getting him to relax, especially the last part where they talk golf, shrimping and tweeting. I have always liked KJ and think she is a star at Comcast. I realize that Boz also complimented her but her work with the Redskins and Nationals has always been first ratego Nats sign Zimm!!

  49. NatsLady - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    It's not clear to me that "chain of command" procedures were broken. Apparently it's standard procedure for samples to be stored in a collector's refrigerator (in other sports) and the seals were not broken. Yes, perhaps the collector should have called around or driven around to find an open FedEx store, but he probably was not reading the fine print of the CBA. As to why the testing was scheduled for such an hour, I would assume they test at the time when they feel there is a chance of getting a positive result, namely before and after big games. My feeling is that although Braun won his case with clever lawyering, he didn't do the game of baseball any favors.

  50. sjm308 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Natslady:agree completely. this is not a great day for baseball, although I am betting the Brewers are breathing a little easier. not that I am waiting eagerly for the next "case" but there will certainly be some scrutiny on how it was handled.

  51. N. Cognito - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    I'm taking up a collection to purchase NatsJack the new Ronco Finger Shaver. It's guarnateed to NOT slice and dice and, if we act now, we'll be able to include a free set of Ginsu knives.

  52. sjm308 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Just read where Toronto released Garrett Mock BEFORE spring training even begins. In years past, this would be the kind of player we would then sign. So happy with what we have now.

  53. Feel Wood - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Re: Zimmerman. Word os it will get done today.So you've been peeking over Boswell's shoulder as he writes his "I saw a deal languishing and I was forced to take up my pen" column?

  54. NatJack in Florida - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Good call N.Cognito…..I definitely need one.

  55. AndesAngle - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    This should be a very easy thing to do. The Nats have the money. Zimmerman has the skill and will to play his best here.

  56. Tcostant - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    I just read on my fantasy baseball site that Zimms agent has left town, with the washington post as the source.According to Boswell article a few days ago; this is NOT a good sign.

  57. Feel Wood - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    I just read on my fantasy baseball site that Zimms agent has left town, with the washington post as the source.According to Boswell article a few days ago; this is NOT a good sign.Someone should tell Boswell that all GMs and agents these days have cell phones. Generally more than one.

  58. Kirbs - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    I agree a million percent. Bourn is the piece that wins the division next year.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 86 63 -- 2
ATLANTA 75 75 11.5
MIAMI 73 76 13.0
NEW YORK 72 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 81 17.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter