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: May 2, 2010
Posted on: February 26, 2012 4:11 pm

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

I find it comical that people say the Nats paid too isn't your money...get over it

So no opinions allowed??

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2012 4:09 pm

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

He is only 27 years old.  The question is will the contract be justified in 7 years?  He will be 34, on the decline, but presumably still producing.  Maybe not what you would expect from a 20 million dollar a year player, but he should be in the lineup and contributing on an above-average level.  You can't say the same for Albert Pujols, who the angels will be paying over 25 million a year well past his declining years, well into the garbage years.  The Nats will get Zimmerman through his "prime" and he will be young enough at 34 to even get another contract, probably as a DH in the AL.

Ryan Howard begins a 5 year deal this year.  In 2016, at the age of 38, Ryan will get 25 million for his services.  Are those services going to be worth 25 million?  No chance on earth.  The Phillies are going to overpay Howard for at least 2 years of that deal, probably to the tune of 50 million bucks.  The Zimmerman deal may seem excessive, but he is young enough you will get your money's worth. 

Since: Mar 27, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2012 3:55 pm

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

worst contract ever. barry zito like

Since: Feb 26, 2012
Posted on: February 26, 2012 3:50 pm

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

I find it comical that people say the Nats paid too isn't your money...get over it

Since: May 18, 2010
Posted on: February 26, 2012 3:47 pm

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

I must admit that I don't know Zimmerman to well but the contract doesn't really seem that out of line with his background, age, potential etc.  If the Nationals think he is a top 3, 3rd baseman than there is nothing wrong with the deal.

Since: Sep 20, 2011
Posted on: February 26, 2012 3:45 pm

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

Like all long term deals only time will tell... if he misses 35/40 games a year on average then it's an expensive contract - but if he plays 155 games a year - it'll seem like it was a great deal for both sides come 2019

Since: Feb 21, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2012 3:42 pm

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

It's too bad they need to overpay in Washington.  Zimmerman's numbers simply don't justify that contract, either in terms of dollars or years.  Had he stayed healthy last year, he was on pace to hit 18-20 HR and drive in 75-80 runs.  Does he have potential to do more?  Yes.  But why assume that when you control him for 2 years.  Even if he produces .300/30/100 this year, you could have signed him to this contract later.

Since: Feb 12, 2012
Posted on: February 26, 2012 3:41 pm

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

Nobody can determine if he will live up to his contract right now. Currently it seems like quite a bit of money for him but if he does produce then

1)He wasn't overpaid and it's an excellent sign for the Nats

2)The Nats could become a dangerous team in years to come with potential superstars such as Gio Gonzalez, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, and Ryan Zimmerman. 

Since: Feb 26, 2012
Posted on: February 26, 2012 3:35 pm

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

This "analysis" is so superficial it barely merits comment, but of course it's typical of the misconceptions about both the Nationals and Zimmerman. 

Forget All Star votes, which are strongly biased based on team attendance and following -- a big disadvantage for the Nationals in their inaugural few seasons.  Zimmerman is a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award winner who ranks #11 among all active MLB players in WAR over the past six seasons. Yes, it's true. Offensively, his numbers are like Matt Kemp but with more walks and fewer strikeouts. As for defense, Zimm is a wizard at the hot corner.  Using both UZR and DRS, Zimmerman’s been the best defensive third baseman in the National League over the last six years.  While his fielding errors are very rare, he does have a history of throwing errors, but appears to have gotten even that under control with his new throwing motion post-abdominal surgery last year.  He has missed two stretches due to injury, but they were not the chronic-type injuries that one would expect to recur.

As for the Nats, they are a new team, but not a small market team.  They are in a top U.S. city with the wealthiest market in the country and have the richest owner in baseball.  Once the team starts winning and packing the house, and finishes its new TV deal, don't be surprised to see their total team salary continue to rise till it causes Bud Selig nightmares.  A couple of $100 million contracts aren't going to break them. 

Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: February 26, 2012 3:20 pm

Early word: Nats paid too much for Zimmerman

Good Contract.  The average is 15.75 million per year.  You are telling me that the fourth or fifth best 3B in the game isn't worth as much as Mark Buerhle who will make 14 million and is about the 40th ranked pitcher in baseball.  This deal pays Ryan Zimmerman as much as Adrian Beltre, who doesn't have as good of numbers as Ryan Zimmerman over the last 6 years.  Adrian Beltre only has two all-star game appearences in 13 seasons. So who is overpaid?

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or