Zimmerman gets six-year deal from Nats

The Washington Nationals recently signed third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to a six-year contract extension worth a reported $100 million. The 27-year-old Virginia native is a career .288/.355/.479 hitter with the Nats.

Ryan Zimmerman had to extend his deadline a bit, but he reportedly will get his wish to remain in Washington, and be well paid to do so.

The Washington Nationals reached an agreement with the third baseman -- and their original draft pick since moving from Montreal -- on a six-year contract extension Sunday, according to ESPN The Magazine.

ESPN, which cited "baseball sources," reported the deal was worth $100 million and included an option for a seventh year. It also has a no-trade clause.

The deal makes Zimmerman second in salaries among third basemen, trailing only Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez earns an average of $27.5 million per year while Zimmerman will make an average of $16.7 million.

Zimmerman had two years left on his current deal and had said he wanted to complete a deal by Saturday, or else negotiate after the season so his situation wouldn't become a distraction.

But talks were close enough Saturday night that Zimmerman pushed the deadline back a bit, according to the report.

Zimmerman, who attended high school in Virginia Beach and college at the University of Virginia, expressed his desire to remain with the Nationals on Saturday in a statement.

"All along, all I've wanted is to be able to stay with the Nationals, which I consider my hometown team, and help the franchise become a winner while also being compensated fairly," he said. "I'm from Virginia, I was drafted by the Nationals and I've seen this organization make great progress since I signed here. I want to see it through to the ultimate goal of winning a World Series."

Zimmerman hit .289 with 12 homers and 49 RBI in 101 games last season as he was limited by injuries.

He's hit .288 with a .355 on-base percentage, 128 homers and 498 RBI in seven seasons with Washington, where he was the club's first draft pick following the franchise's move from Montreal.

Nationals Notes & Quotes

  • LHP Sammy Solis, the Nationals' second-round pick in 2010, will undergo Tommy John surgery, and he is expected to miss the entire 2012 season.

    Solis, 23, was hurt in the Arizona Fall League, and pain returned in recent days after the pitcher began throwing in spring training.

    "He's a terrific prospect. He's got great stuff," GM Mike Rizzo said, according to the Washington Times. "We always thought that he was a quick-to-the-big-leagues guy, and this will derail that a little bit. ...

    "We feel confident that he should regain his pre-injury form, and we feel that once he does, he'll be a definite positive factor for us in the future."

    Solis made a combined 17 starts for low Class A Hagerstown and high Class A Potomac last season, going a combined 8-3 with a 3.26 ERA. He struck out 93 and walked 23 in 96 2/3 innings.

  • RHP Edwin Jackson is tentatively scheduled to start in the team's first exhibition game, against the Astros on March 3, according to The Washington Post. The team picked up Jackson in an offseason free agent signing.

  • 1B Adam LaRoche is working his way back from surgery to repair his torn labrum, which ended his 2011 season after just 45 games. LaRoche worked throughout the winter and is very optimistic. The first base job appears to be his even though the Nationals went after Prince Fielder hard in the offseason. But LaRoche's shoulder is ready, and he's optimistic. "I feel really strong. It feels good," he told The Washington Post.

  • LHP John Lannan's situation remains up in the air. He's clearly not in the top five of the starting rotation but continues to work with them in spring training. If the five starters are OK at the end of camp, and he's not on the team as a long reliever, the Nationals will deal him, probably closer to Opening Day.

  • OF/1B Michael Morse is someone the Nationals are going to look to this year. He clearly had a career year in 2011 (batting .305 with 31 homers and 95 RBI), earning a new contract in the process, but the big question is going to be if Morse can do it again since he's never done it before.

  • C Wilson Ramos looks to be the starting catcher this season. He's hoping for better luck after a winter in which the 24-year old catcher got kidnapped in Venezuela before being rescued. Ramos hit .267 with 15 homers and 52 RBI last year and took the job away from future Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez.

  • By the Numbers: 166 – The number of strikeouts second baseman Danny Espinosa had last year. It led the team.

  • Quote to Note: "The important part of me signing this deal is to be here, not to sign a deal that's team-friendly to have it with another team. That's the whole point of doing it. I wouldn't sign a deal like this for the Red Sox or the Yankees or the Dodgers or any other team." -- Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman in The Washington Post about why he wants a no-trade clause.

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