Seems like a Ryan Zimmerman contract extension had been "close" for days. On Saturday night, as yet another deadline neared for striking a deal, more progress to lock up the Face of the Franchise long-term. And according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post on Sunday morning, the deal is finally done:
From an email by CAA Baseball Saturday night, comments by Brodie Van Wagenen, agent for Ryan Zimmerman and co-head of CAA Baseball:
“We have made significant progress on an extension for Ryan that would ensure he plays for the Nationals for a long time, which has always been Ryan’s goal. We are working on a structure that will allow the team to continue to add talent and establish a winner which is another goal of Ryan's.
“While there are still important aspects to work through, we bridged multiple important gaps on many major parts of a contract. Nothing is done until it is done, but both sides are optimistic that an agreement can be reached and Ryan can focus his energies on preparing with his teammates for the season.”
...and quotes from Ryan Zimmerman:
“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. While nothing is finalized, I am confident that we can reach an agreement that will accomplish all those things. 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.”
And Mike Rizzo released his own statement Saturday night; via Nats Insider/Mark Zuckerman:
"We don't have a deal done yet, but we've made significant progress tonigh. We feel good about it and optimistic that we can reach an agreement. But there's some small details we have to iron out through tonight and tomorrow. Hopefully tomorrow ... we'll have something more concrete to announce. But we feel good and optimistic that Zim is going to be a Washington National for a very, very long time."
(Mike Rizzo, via Nats Insider, 2/26/2012)
And now we can all safely turn our attention to more important things, like the potential of Bryce Harper facing Stephen Strasburg in live batting practice on Sunday. Could be the end of the world...they might not ever get to announce the Zim deal at a press conference after all.