The Washington Nationals have agreed to a long-term contract extension with third baseman — and Face of the Franchise — Ryan Zimmerman, ensuring that the fan-favorite will remain in D.C. through at least 2019.
The agreement, which includes a full no-trade clause and post-playing personal services contract, is a six-year deal worth $100 million, with a club option for 2020 worth $24 million. The contract extends Zimmerman until he is 35 years old.
Zimmerman was the fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft out of the University of Virginia and has been an All-Star, Gold Glove, and Silver Slugger award winner.
Zimmerman was slated to become a free agent after the 2013 season, but the long-term deal now in place assures that the core of this team is locked up for the forseeable future.
The Nationals control the salaries of most of their main players. Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond are signed through 2015; Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Wilson Ramos, Danny Espinosa and Drew Storen are locked up until 2016; and Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper through 2017.
The impact of this deal goes beyond retaining Zimmerman’s services. It shows that the Nats are willing to take care of their homegrown talent, which could in turn influence others down the road in their decision to either continue their careers in D.C. or come here as a free agent. Think that’s overstated? Read some of the comments coming out of Florida by the younger players, all heaping praise on the deal. It means a lot that Zimmerman and the Lerner family showed this much loyalty to each other.
Now, Zimmerman and the Nats players can go about taking care of their business on the field. GM MIke Rizzo can go back to his business of trying to find a center fielder. Nats fans can, and invariably will, find something else to worry about. But they no longer need to worry about the future of Ryan Zimmerman. He’s set.