Blog Entry

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

Posted on: February 26, 2012 2:01 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 3:08 pm

The immediate reaction to Ryan Zimmerman's $100 million, six-year extension with the Nationals was this:
Where's the hometown discount?

Zimmerman's total contract, which now runs through 2019, guarantees him $126 million, including the two years he already had on his deal. Forget that $126 million has been an unlucky number in baseball contracts (see Vernon Wells, Barry Zito and Nationals teammate Jayson Werth), it just seems a bit high considering 1) Zimmerman has an injury history, 2) he sprayed a few throws in recent years, and 3) the Nationals have a top third-base prospect in Anthony Rendon.

Said one competing executive of the Nats' two nine-figure deals now in the books: "Seems like they have two $100 million contracts but no $100 million payers.'' That also refers to Werth, who didn't live up to his contract last year. (Though some might say the Nats have Stephen Strasburgh and Bryce Harper, who may be worth $100 million some day.)

No matter what anyone on the outside thinks, Zimmerman was said to be the Nats' No. 1 priority this winter, and they did get the deal done. They love him for his defense, his clutch hitting, his personality and his local roots (University of Virginia). They also recall that he led the majors in WAR one year.

But he has also been hurt a fair amount, enough to question whether he warrants the ninth-biggest deal in the majors and third-biggest for a non-1B infielder (behind Alex Rodriguez and Troy Tulowitzki) or deserves to join Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Tulowitzki, Ryan Braun and Matt Kemp as players in the books through 2019. Zimmerman's deal also includes an option for 2020 that could bring his haul to $150 million.

Zimmerman did agree to a $10 million personal services deferral, which means only $116 million of the $126 million counts as payroll and could help the Nationals in terms of flexibility. But the reality is he's a one-time All-Star. And that's a lot of loot for a one-time All-Star.

Category: MLB

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2012 1:04 am

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

It seems a bit much and too soon. 

The Nationals had all the power in this situation, and they essentially let the player take the power away.

With 2 years locked in left PLUS a down season, it made no sense to break the bank on an extension.

Worst case was that he had a career year (meaning revenues increased from wins) and the Nats would pay marginally more money.

Even with a career year in 2012, I doubt the extension would be considerably higher.  The Nats moved prematurely in this case.

Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: February 27, 2012 12:52 am

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

Heyman is a joke. The only people who think the Nats paid too much for Zimmerman are people who like Heyman, who dont know what they are talking about and people who havent seen him play. Considering the Nats dont get a lot of national attention, Im guessing most fall into the latter category. The reason why Zimmerman got paid is because he is arguably one of the top 3 3rd basemen in the game. He's awesome in the field and is definitely the guy you want at the plate in the 9th with the game on the line.

Heyman mentioned that Zimmerman has an injury problem. Since Zimmerman became a regular in 06 Zimmerman has played in 101,106,142,157,157 and 162 games. He is averaging about 140 games a year, that doesnt sound like an injury prone guy to me. Zim wont hit 40 homers a year, but he will give you gold glove caliber defense, hit between 25-30 homers and drive in around 100 runs a year. He's entering his prime, and now has a few people to protect him in the lineup. His offensive numbers will only improve.

The Nats were smart to lockup Zimmerman. They drafted Rendon, but Brandon Wood and Sean Burroughs have showed that being a highly touted prospect doesnt guarantee success. If Rendon is as good as advertised, maybe Zimmerman moves to first. In any event, having a guy like Rendon waiting in the wings is what most people would classify as a good problem to have. Other than the Werth signing the Nats have been making very smart, shrewd moves the past couple of seasons. This is was just another move that will help the Nats become contenders the next season or two.

Since: Feb 1, 2009
Posted on: February 27, 2012 12:50 am

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

The Nationals really wanted to retain Adam Dunn for around $10M a year, but the ChiSox outbid them. It was a blessing in disguise, and now they don't have big dollars locked in on a guy that can only DH or play first base.

Once their 3B prospect is ready, Zimmerman can move to first. The rest of the league understands. The Nationals want good players, but free agents won't sign in a small market in cold weather unless they pay a premium. Living in Washington, I'm not even sure what kind of payroll we're looking at in the future. It looks like the owners are willing to spend, which is great for possibly having a competitive sports team here for once.  

Since: Feb 1, 2009
Posted on: February 27, 2012 12:44 am

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

I would like to remind some people that Washington significantly outbid the YANKEES for Mark Texeira a few years ago, and Tex still didn't sign with them. It's unfortunate, but the Nationals are going to have to overpay in order to get people to stay/come.

Zimmerman, Harper, Strasburg, and Werth hopefully make the team competitive. That Nationals realize they have a small window to compete for a title before their stars head for big markets.

I don't even think they overpaid too much. Tex makes over $20M althought a HR machine, he only bats .250. Zimmerman has been the face of the franchise for years, and consistently bats near .300      

Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2012 10:40 pm

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

Definately to much..THis guy will probably play an average of 120 games a year throughout this contract and post an average of 19 hr, 78 rbi, 70 runs and a .276 average..$100 million is to much $$ for this guy..He's a little above average people..He's a happy camper knowing in 5 years at the age of 33 he will be a has been with a couple of AS appearances making bank $$

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2012 10:12 pm

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

Is it too much? Maybe.  But here are a few things to remember.  

1) First of all people need to quit saying he's "only" a .288 hitter. That hitting percentage is approximately 30 points higher then the major league average was last year.

2) In 2009 as a 24 year old the guy hit .292 with 33 hr's and over 100 rbi's.

3) In 2010 at only 25 he hit .307 with 25 hr's, 85 rbi's and a .388 obp.

He had a bad season last year, no doubt about it.  But he almost missed around 60 games, even on his not so good pace his pro rated numbers were around 20 hr's, 80 rbi's and a .289 average with a .355 OBP.

His career numbers pro rated for 162 games are about 23 hr's, 88 rbi's, a .288 average and a .355 OBP.

Top MLB free agents don't consider Washington very often.  They have to hold onto the good young talent they have.


Since: Dec 29, 2011
Posted on: February 26, 2012 9:38 pm

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

Not only are fans and the media scratching their heads over the Nats their tendency to grossly overpay players, but are frustrating the hell out of the other GMS.

Since: Aug 16, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2012 9:20 pm

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

Might have been a gross overpay for Zimmerman given his past injury concerns. I also remember reading about the Nationals having a promising 3rd base prospect in waiting too, so overpaying this much for Zimmerman with some upcoming prospects who can just as easily fill in is a somewhat confusing move.

Since: Nov 20, 2011
Posted on: February 26, 2012 8:58 pm

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

I think they paid too much.  He's a very good 3B and only 27 years old, but they should have been able to get him cheaper.  I don't think it was a great deal, but I wouldn't compare it to the Zito or Werth deals.  Don't forget, he is somewhat the face of the franchise.

Since: Feb 15, 2012
Posted on: February 26, 2012 8:34 pm

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

way to much...he's not that good in the fantasy...

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