Nationals, Zimmerman together for long haul

Washington's Ryan Zimmerman reached a deal to remain with the Nationals, the franchise that drafted him, through 2019.

Ever since he became the Washington Nationals’ very first draft pick, Ryan Zimmerman wanted to stay with the club for a long time.


Now he’ll get that wish.

The Nationals took what they hope is another step toward consistent contention by locking up their third baseman – and the guy many still call the face of the franchise – through 2019, adding six years to Zimmerman’s existing contract in a deal announced Sunday.

The deal includes a full no-trade clause.

The extra six seasons are worth $100 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

“It’s nice that it’s done,” Zimmerman said. “It’s where I want to be. It’s where I’ve always wanted to be.”

He already was signed for 2012 and 2013, with $26 million remaining on the five-year, $45 million contract he got at the start of the 2009 season. He’s now guaranteed $126 million over the next eight seasons, and there is a club option for 2020.

Zimmerman was the team’s first draft pick after the Expos became the Nationals before the 2005 season.

He’s been an NL All-Star, and also collected Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.

Last season, Zimmerman was limited by injuries to 395 at-bats over 101 games. He hit .289 with 12 homers, 21 doubles and 49 RBI.

For his career, Zimmerman has a .288 batting average, 128 homers, 214 doubles, 498 RBI, a .355 on-base percentage and .479 slugging percentage, and he’s considered one of the top defensive third basemen in the majors.


TWINS: The fireballer has flamed out once again, and this time it might be for good.

Reliever Joel Zumaya was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right elbow on Sunday, meaning his latest comeback bid has ended almost before it began.

Zumaya had signed an incentive-laden, one-year deal with the Twins.


INDIANS: Chris Perez couldn’t finish his first bullpen session without trouble.

Cleveland’s All-Star closer will miss at least one month and possibly six weeks with a strained left side muscle he injured throwing off the mound for the first time in spring training.

It’s the second significant injury in camp already for the Indians, who announced Friday that center fielder Grady Sizemore will not be ready for Opening Day because of a strained lower back.