"We continue to talk about a multi-year deal. We talked about it yesterday. We're going to talk about it tomorrow. That would be an end result both sides would like to see."
(Stan Kasten, via Nationals Journal, 2/20/2009)
Please, enough already! Just get this thing done!
Done deal by Opening Day? Hope so. But probably only if Ryan Zimmerman gets The Markakis Treatment. Otherwise, bad economy and all, Zim is likely to just take a wait and see approach, as Mark Zuckerman of the Washington Times reminds us:
Remember, Zimmerman is under no pressure to agree to a long-term deal now. He's just entering the first of his three seasons of arbitration eligibility, so he can't become a free agent until after the 2011 season. He just increased his annual salary by a factor of 7. That's why players love arbitration -- it's a guaranteed raise of considerable proportions.
Still in the meantime, Zim's arbitration-dodging $3.325 Million stopgap deal is good news for everybody. Best of all, it prevents an apparently super duper fantastic relationship between team and player from going bad - Oh, and Stan Kasten wants you to know the relationship is doing just great, thank you very much (via Nationals dot com):
Asked if there is friction between Zimmerman and the Nationals, Kasten said: "Only the one I've read about, none that I've ever seen in real life or actuality or that Ryan knows about or that we know about. I don't know where that came from. It's just nonsense."