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Ryan Zimmerman is not with $100 million

Ryan Zimmerman is not with $100 million

Ryan Zimmerman is not with $100 million

Ryan Zimmerman had previously set a Saturday, February 25th deadline for contract extension negotiations between himself and the Washington Nationals to avoid his contract situation being a distraction this season. Saturday, with the deal in its final phases, Zimmerman extended the deadline and today it was announced that he has a greed to a 6 year-$100 million deal with an option for a 7th season. Zimmerman could potentially be under Nationals control until 2020. He also received a full no-trade clause. Am I missing something here? Ryan Zimmerman is obviously a great player and he’s definitely one of the best third basemen in baseball but $100 million? He really is only ONE of the best third basemen, definitely not THE best and other than above average power for the position, doesn’t have any off the charts skills. Zimmerman is definitely a very solid defender at the hot corner and he’s a huge favorite of sabermatricians but I’m not convinced he’s worth near that much money.

Ryan Zimmerman is a career .288 hitter with 128 HRs in 845 games. His best seasons were 2009 and 2010 when he really was excellent. In 2009, Zimm hit .292 with with 33 bombs and 110 RBIs. In 2010 it was .307 with 25 and 85. Last year, in an injury marred season, Ryan hit .289 with 12 HRs and 52 RBIs. His career WAR is 30.2 (which is definitely good but not off the charts). I’m a big average guy and Zimmerman’s upper .200′s just don’t do it for me. Based on Fangraphs various 2012 projections, Zimmerman’s 2012 season will look something like a .290ish average with 22 or so HRs and about 85 RBIs. Certainly good numbers, nothing you can complain about, but not jumping of the page, not that impressive, and not worth $100 mill.  

David Wright is only 2 years older than Zimmerman, has played in about 300 more games in only 1 more season, has a higher career average and better career WAR. I think you could make a plausible argument for Wright over Zimmerman and as I said before, I don’t think you can build a team around David Wright.

Of course, there are intangibles that have to be taken into account. The Yankees certainly know something about that considering the massive deal they gave Derek Jeter last year was more about off the field stuff than his play. Zimm is a stellar defender, no Adrian Beltre but very good, and that’s supremely important at third (as the Tigers are about to find out). He’s also the undisputed team leader and a homegrown guy. That he pushed so hard for a no-trade clause so that he could make sure he would remain in DC must warm the heart of GM Mike Rizzo. That all has value. He’s marketable and responsible, and a great player to have around. The Nats are paying for continuity and peace of mind. That has value. I’m not exactly saying that they will regret this deal but I think in order for them to get $120-some odd million worth of value from Zimmerman in the next 7 seasons (including the money he’s owed before the extension even kicks in) Ryan will have to stay healthy in a way he hasn’t proved to be capable of and show a penchant for getting on base he hasn’t shown he has.

 

By Off The Bench
Monday, 27 Feb 2012

 

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