Ryan Zimmerman, the kid from Virginia Beach who idolized Cal Ripken, wanted to play only for the Washington Nationals the moment they drafted him. Zimmerman and the team grew up together, a superstar third baseman asserting himself and a franchise finding its way. Through even the grimmest moments, his allegiance did not waver.
“He was saying that from Day One,” said Keith Zimmerman, his father. “I’ve never had a discussion with him about leaving the area.”
And he never will. Sunday morning, the Nationals and Zimmerman agreed on a contract extension guaranteed to keep him in Washington through at least the 2019 season. The contract contains a full no-trade clause and adds six years and $100 million to Zimmerman’s current contract, which runs through 2013, plus a team option worth $24 million. In total, counting the two years on his current deal, Zimmerman will make $126 million over the next eight years, or $150 million over the next nine.
Zimmerman, then, is locked up with Washington until at least 2019, and the Nationals control him through 2020, at the end of which he will turn 36.