Saturday, the Washington Nationals had star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman locked up through 2013. Sunday, the Nationals and Zimmerman reached an agreement that locks up the star third baseman through 2019. Zimmerman will make $12 million this year, $14 million next year, and then his six-year, $100 million extension will kick in.
The big question that's always the big question with contracts like this is: is it a good deal? We turn to Dave Cameron at FanGraphs, who explores the history of recent players similar to Zimmerman:
If we use the standard $5M per win in 2012/5% annual inflation assumptions, the Nationals would essentially need Zimmerman to produce +16 WAR from 2014-2019 in order to justify this contract. The median production of the six comps from age 29-34? +16 WAR.
However, given his production up to this point and how other similar players have aged recently, the Nationals should expect Zimmerman to be able to live up to the extension. It’s not a huge bargain, but locking up quality players to fair market value deals has some value when you already have some premium talents under contract at bargain rates.
Ryan Zimmerman contract extension: okay. It's not really good, and it's not really bad, although it could end up looking really good or really bad depending on things the Nationals can't predict.
Discussions about long-term contracts given to excellent players always seem to sound so alike. But the Nationals have done well here making sure that a great player doesn't leave too soon.