Ryan Zimmerman‘s deadline for a contract extension passed this morning Nationals when the Nationals began their first full-squad workout of the spring in Viera., Fla, with no news on a possible deal.
MASNsports.com’s Pete Kerzel writes this morning that Zimmerman reported to the team facilities this morning and when asked about a deal, shrugged and said, “Right down to the last minute, I guess.”
Although the 10 a.m. start of today’s workout was Zimmerman’s deadline, General Manager Mike Rizzo said this week that it would not prevent him and Zimmerman’s agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, from talking further.
It’s already clear that Zimmerman and the team have reached agreement on many of the major parameters of a deal, but a few obstacles remain, most notably a no-trade clause for the 27-year-old, according to The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore and other reporters covering the team in Florida.
Also, Comcast SportsNet’s Mark Zuckerman writes that it’s also unclear whether the Nationals would tear up his current contract and start a new one now, or wait until the five-year, $45 million deal he signed in 2009 expires after the 2013 season.
The major point of today’s deadline is so that the contract talks would not become a distraction for Zimmerman or the team as it begins a season where it could contend in the National League East. But just as important as what Zimmerman said this morning was what he didn’t say: He didn’t say that the talks were all over or that there would not be some news later on.
Just because there was no announcement today doesn’t mean that a deal isn’t done or won’t be announced in the coming weeks. As with the rest of the developments in this most promising of all Nats seasons, we’ll just have to let it all play out and see what happens.