We’re now less than 24 hours away from Ryan Zimmerman‘s self-imposed deadline for signing a contract extenstion.
The former All-Star, Gold Glove and two-time Silver Slugger winning third baseman is signed through the 2013 season, in a deal that will pay him $12 million this year and $14 million dollars in the final season. As mentioned earlier on DoD, deals signed by Zimmerman’s contemporaries would seem to put his in the range of five to eight years and $120 million to $160 million.
Zimmerman tells reporters, including The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore and The Washington Times’ Mark Lancaster that the main hangup so far is not money, but whether the deal will be “team friendly.” That’s apparently a reference to Kilgore’s report that Zimmerman wants a no-trade clause. Kilgore says General Manager Mike Rizzo is reluctant to include one for the sixth-year player, who would receive automatic no-trade protection in 2016 under baseball’s current collective bargaining agreement.
Zim’s agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, has been in Viera all week for talks with Rizzo, but Kilgore now reports that Van Wagenen left town last night, without a deal in place. Kilgore says that’s apparently not a bad sign, and does not necessarily prevent one from being completed before formal workouts begin tomorrow.
Zimmerman does not seem to be bothered by reporting on the talks, but he is adamant that he won’t discuss a new contract once camp has formally started. Rizzo also told Kilgore that he and Van Wagenen can still talk after tomorrow. Zimmerman did tell Lancaster that if a deal doesn’t get done, he would still be open to negotiating a new deal in the coming offseason, and it won’t necessarily keep him from staying in Washington after 2013.
Despite the heavy reporting on the talks by the hometown papers, there’s always the possibility that the deal is already done or will be completed in secret. Kilgore notes that agreement in principle on Zimmerman’s current contract, announced during the 2009 season, came about 10 minutes before the first pitch on Opening Day, Zimmerman’s self-imposed negotiation deadline that year.
DoD is following the news of Zimmerman’s contract talks and will report developments as we hear them.