Comps For Ryan Zimmerman’s Extension

The Nationals continued to lock up their core talent today, agreeing to terms on a six year, $100 million extension for third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. The extension is tacked on to the end of his current deal, which pays him $26 million over the next two seasons, so he’s essentially now under contract for the next eight years for $126 million, and if a team option is exercised for 2020, the deal could turn out to be $150 million over nine years.

That’s a big paycheck, but Zimmerman is one of the game’s most underrated players, and the Nationals correctly identified his skillset as one worth keeping around. However, there’s continuing skepticism around every player who generates a lot of value with his glove, and people continue to be uncomfortable projecting stardom for guys who rely on their defensive skills to sustain elite performance. Since Zimmerman is a good bat/great glove guy, not everyone is on board with committing $100 million to that skillset, thinking that the value may not be there if the defensive value degrades with age and injury.

So, I figured it’d be instructive to look at how some other players with this skillset have aged recently. Here’s my list of comps, and their performance through age 26 – for reference, Zimmerman’s at a 119 wRC+, +52 FLD, and +30.2 WAR in 3,669 PA, or more generalized, 4.9 WAR per 600 PA.


Name PA wRC+ FLD WAR WAR/600
Adrian Beltre 4,468 105 88 29.1 3.9
Scott Rolen 3,205 126 46 27.6 5.2
Eric Chavez 3,507 120 17.4 24.1 4.1
Robin Ventura 3,165 114 56 24 4.5
Travis Fryman 3,447 110 19 21.5 3.7
Troy Glaus 3,237 118 -4.6 19.6 3.6

These guys were all regarded as good glove guys, even if the defensive metrics don’t agree in retrospect on guys like Fryman and Glaus, and they all were all above average – but not elite – offensive performers. Overall, they averaged 3,505 PA and had a weighted average line of 115 wRC+, +40 FLD, and +24.6 WAR – just slightly worse than Zimmerman’s overall line, but I think these half dozen guys represent the most similar players to Zimmerman’s current skillset that we’ve seen in the last 15-20 years. Zimmerman might be slightly better than the aggregate of these comps, but it’s pretty close.

So, how’d those guys do from ages 29-34, which is the years that the Nationals just bought out with this six year extension? Let’s go back to the comps.

Name PA wRC+ FLD WAR WAR/600
Scott Rolen 2,853 119 65.4 26.3 5.5
Robin Ventura 3,227 110 80.8 24.7 4.6
Adrian Beltre 2,255 118 48.7 19.2 5.1
Troy Glaus 2,242 117 -4.8 12.2 3.3
Travis Fryman 2,425 98 -24 6.7 1.7
Eric Chavez 803 80 0.6 0.5 0.4

Or, if you prefer a visual, here’s the WAR graph by age for those same six players.


Source: FanGraphsTroy Glaus, Travis Fryman, Adrian Beltre

Of the comps, there’s a pretty clear delineation between the positive and negative results. Scott Rolen, Robin Ventura, Adrian Beltre (to this point – we’re just judging on him 29-32 since his 33-34 seasons are TBD), and Troy Glaus all sustained their skillsets, producing at basically the same level they did up through age 26. Glaus struggled with injury issues and his career ended prematurely, but he was productive when he played.

Fryman and Chavez are the downside risks here. Fryman’s bat regressed and his defensive performance tanked, so he went from +3.7 WAR per 600 PA to +1.7 WAR per 600 PA, and only had one useful year after he turned 30. Chavez has battled major injury problems and has rarely played since turning 30, and has been a complete non-factor over the last five years.

Still, the overall production of the comparable list should be somewhat encouraging for the Nationals. The six guys had a weighted average of +4.2 WAR per 600 PA through age 26, then posted a +3.9 WAR per 600 PA from 29-34. There isn’t a lot of evidence here that Zimmerman’s skills are going to erode and he’ll lose his defensive value unless he just battles major health problems, which is a risk no matter what player type you sign long term.

If we use the standard $5M per win in 2012/5% annual inflation assumptions, the Nationals would essentially need Zimmerman to produce +16 WAR from 2014-2019 in order to justify this contract. The median production of the six comps from age 29-34? +16 WAR.

There’s certainly risk here, especially given Zimmerman’s injury problems in 2011. Health is likely to be the determining factor of how this deal turns out, and his ability to stay on the field is more of a question now than it was a year ago. However, given his production up to this point and how other similar players have aged recently, the Nationals should expect Zimmerman to be able to live up to the extension. It’s not a huge bargain, but locking up quality players to fair market value deals has some value when you already have some premium talents under contract at bargain rates.

Bottom line – the Nationals paid a pretty fair price for a good player who should be able to help them contend while guys like Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper are coming into the primes. This isn’t the kind of deal that will save the team a lot of money, but it keeps a quality player in the fold at a rate that isn’t likely to be a total disaster. There’s risk with any long term extension, and this one could turn out poorly if Zimmerman’s injury issues linger, but this is a valuable skillset and a healthy Zimmerman should earn the money over the life of the deal.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


75 Responses to “Comps For Ryan Zimmerman’s Extension”

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  1. Preston says:

    When you compare what the Rangers paid for Adrian Beltre who was three years older when inking his deal then this really looks like a steal. The last days of negotiations were apparently spent haggling over a no trade clause. Has anyone heard what the resolution to that was?

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    • Dave Cameron says:

      You can’t really compare contracts earned as free agents to contract extensions given to player’s still under contract. Any non-FA is going to have to settle for less than the FA rate when signing an extension due to decreased leverage.

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      • MK says:

        Fair enough, but you used market prices in this paragraph:

        “If we use the standard $5M per win in 2012/5% annual inflation assumptions, the Nationals would essentially need Zimmerman to produce +16 WAR from 2014-2019 in order to justify this contract. The median production of the six comps from age 29-34? +16 WAR.”

        So if the Nats paid market price for wins, didn’t they overpay?

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      • ryan howard says:

        “Any non-FA is going to have to settle for less than the FA rate when signing an extension due to decreased leverage.”

        not necessarily…

        seriously though, what’s your gut feeling on what kind of WAR/$ discount that a team gets compared to the market rate?

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      • Will says:

        Vernon Wells, Joe Mauer and Alex Rios send their regards too!

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      • Barkey Walker says:

        Dave, leverage comes form an outside (alternative) option, and the non-FA has the outside option of waiting until they become a FA and then getting a contract with any other team. In this case it is pretty clean too because they didn’t renegotiate the first two years when there is no FA alternative.

        The only reason that the team has more leverage here is that they can offer a little less because they accept the risk that the player will lose lots of value before they become a FA, but that is just an insurance premium, not leverage.

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  2. Slats says:

    Ryan Zimmerman is 11th in WAR over the last six seasons in all of baseball and he had an injury plagued 2011 season. FanGraphs projected a contract with an AAV of between $14 million and $20 million.

    This contract seems just about right to me for one of the most underrated players going around!

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  3. They gave him the no-trade clause.

    Nats fans should be very happy. Fair deal. Right # of years.

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  4. Matt says:

    One thing I think this really shows is how good a deal the Chavez extension was. The A’s signed a guy very comparable to Zimmerman to 6 years at $66 million. It looks bad in retrospect, but it was a bargain at the time and absolutely the right move.

    I’m going to guess that most people will see the Zimmerman deal as a win for the Nationals, despite the fact that Chavez’s career path is a realistic possibility.

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    • Dave Cameron says:

      They signed that deal eight years ago. The market has changed a lot since then.

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    • Mat says:

      I’m going to guess that most people will see the Zimmerman deal as a win for the Nationals, despite the fact that Chavez’s career path is a realistic possibility.”

      It’s certainly a possibility, but how realistic? It’s a possibility with just about any ballplayer, there’s inherent risk involved with long-term contracts to any major athlete. It appears that the Nationals did a good job weighing those risks. As the author notes, Chavez basically has not done anything since turning 30 five years ago. The path of his career is not all that common. Zimmerman turning into Chavez is not a realistic possibility, it’s a remote possibility, and true of just about any MLB player. These things being said, the Nationals really did not have to do this with a player 2 years away from free agency.

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  5. cpebbles says:

    My recollection of Glaus’s defensive reputation is certainly different from yours, but regardless I’d think a better comparables list would be strictly players whose performance mirrored Zimmerman’s, instead of using reputation.

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    • Alec says:

      That would be ideal, but that limits you to four comps, possibly even three, including Ventura. Since there are only 30 3B’s in the majors playing at once, and they won’t all be performing similarly, you have to go back in time, and all of the defensive stats for those years were compiled later. Reputation is the only thing to go on to get a list of guys big enough to be valuable.

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    • Barkey Walker says:

      When you look at the three that are actually comps (that is really did play well on the field)… all of a sudden it is a great deal. It’s as if being in good shape helps you age. What a surprise.

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  6. billybob says:

    I just want to say that I saw the new contract posted as news on Google News, read some news report about it, and thought to myself, “Man, I wonder what some comps are. I’ll bet FanGraphs has some.” I clicked my bookmark and here it was, all ready. THANKS SO MUCH! You guys are the go-to team for baseball analysis: I appreciate your working on a Sunday. (I wish y’all worked everyday, but I suppose you have to take time off sometime!) Great piece and thanks for the info.

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  7. KKSC says:

    I’m a little skeptical as if this is a “great” deal for the Nationals..

    A lot of Zimmerman’s value is tied up in defense, and his offense is pretty good, but not spectacular. He certainly isn’t a cornerstone offensive player. He’s been injured a couple of times, and that worries me for a player who’s heavily valued in defense. What if his legs go? Then he becomes merely a good 3B.

    People will point to him being 11th in WAR over the past six seasons, but, has he been the 11th best player over the past six seasons? Conversely, do you think he’ll be the 11th best player going forward?

    Considering his excellent consistency, offensive & defensive skill, injury history, and his great reputation, I would put fair contract value at about 6 years/$80-85 million. However, I doubt that gets the deal done. I think the author put it best, when he said that it isn’t a great deal, but one that keeps the current face of the franchise locked up for a less-than-terrible price.

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    • KKSC says:

      To add, there isn’t really a current 3B that you can compare Zimmerman’s deal to, so that murkies the water a bit.

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    • Will says:

      “People will point to him being 11th in WAR over the past six seasons, but, has he been the 11th best player over the past six seasons?”

      Yes, it means exactly that – having the 11th highest WAR means that he was the 11th best player.

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      • DCN says:

        Well it depends on how accurate you think WAR is. That said, 11th best sees exactly right. I think it’s lack of exposure, and lack of mass media recognition for the value of two-way players and the concept of replacement value.

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      • KKSC says:

        No, it doesn’t. I debate how useful WAR in the first place, but it actually means that he was the 11th “most valuable”.

        For example, in 2010 Zimmerman had the sixth highest WAR – However, there were 10 or so players who contributed more to their team, but because the standard of a replacement player is higher in the OF and 1B, their WARs are lowered, than if they produced the same offensive and fielding ratings at 3B.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        No, they did not contribute more than Zimmerman, because they did not provide the incredibly valuable plus defense at third base.

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      • Will says:

        KKSC, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of Wins Above Replacement.

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    • bstar says:

      Hell no, he’s not the 11th best player in baseball over the past six seasons. That fact only exists here….on Fangraphs. bWAR has him as the 39th best POSITION PLAYER in baseball over that same time span, so I’m sure the Nationals looked at that, too. Kind of puts an entirely different perspective on this contract and Ryan Zimmerman’s abilities.

      That being said, I think the Nats overpaid but not by too terribly much. They’re giving their fans lots of reasons to come to the ballpark for the next several years. Whatever WAR equation you use, I think Zimmerman will produce +16 WAR if healthy and maybe a little less if he has to battle injuries.

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  8. INGY says:

    THIS IS A GOOD CONTRACT…….IF PUJOLS WAS SUCH A TEAM PLAYER HE WOULD HAVE GIVEN THE CARDS A DISCOUNT AND GOTTEN IT DONE INSTEAD OF SELLING HIS SOUL AND MOVING TO HOLLYWOOD…ZIMMERMAN HAS NEVER BEEN THAT KIND OF PLAYER SO IT IS NICE TO SEE HE IS STAYING AT HOME…PUJOLS IS GOING TO LOOOOOVE LIVING IN LOS ANGELES WHERE PEOPLE ONLY CARE ABOUT YOU FOR YOUR MONEY….WELLL GOOD LUCK WITH THAT BIG AL!!!

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    • Preston says:

      That’s a crock of shit. Pujols was an employee. His contract was up and he went to the best place for him and his family. If the Cardinals wanted to keep him they could have paid fair market for him. And lumping an entire city together by a single stereotype is ignorant. Because I know that St. Louis has that wholesome mid-west stereotype going for it, but in actuality it sports one of the highest crime rates in America. So maybe he just wanted to get away from that filthy meth den of a town.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Pujols also provided the Cards with ~185M (IIRC) of surplus value during his previous contracts.

        If I’m an employee and I’m the main reason my company is thriving and won “Company of the year” twice, and they did so primarily because of the over-value I provide, I’m not looking to necessarily give them ANY type of “discount” to remain with them. If anything, I feel they “owe me” some serious compensation in my next deal … especially when there are other companies that will pay me quite a bit more than their best offer.

        We expect athletes to make sacrificial decisions that we would never consider, let alone make.

        My concern was that the public outcry to “sign Pujols at any cost” (especially after winning the WS) would lead to StL signing him to a figure that he could never live up to, and they’d be tied to it, justifying it (somewhat) by all the surplus value he provided in the “first half” of his career. AP5 got his money and StL stayed out of a very large contract.

        Win for both parties.

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    • Slartibartfast says:

      I love that there are still some people that think it’s acceptable to type in all caps.

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    • stumanji says:

      And I shall title this comment, “Using an ellipsis: You’re doing it wrong.”

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    • Well-Beered Englishman says:

      The Nationals really are Ryan Zimmerman’s hometown team. He lives in Virginia and played college ball at UVA.

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    • Baltar says:

      The people of Anaheim will be shocked to learn they live in Hollywood.
      It might make a good Twilight Zone episode.

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  9. Justin says:

    Dave,

    Shouldn’t Anthony Rendon factor into this decision as well? I would assume the Nats will probably play him at 2B going forward (which may work out fine), but considering Zimmerman had injury problems last year and was still under contract for two seasons maybe this extension is a little more riskier than you think.

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    • baty says:

      I don’t think you want to nitpick over positional projections that might still be at least 2 years into the future (when it comes to prospects, Rendon in particular)… He’s still too far from being in the MLB lineup picture, even though he could be a tremendous player sooner rather than later.

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      • Justin says:

        I’m not suggesting that the Nationals shouldn’t have extended Zimmerman because of Rendon, but I do think that it should be noted as part of their decision process. I’d assume the Nats front office at least talked about a switch for Rendon from 3B to 2B.

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      • Fiery Furnaces says:

        I too find this whole switch Rendon to 3rd to be more than a little dubious. On the other hand, perhaps young Zimmerman can move himself over to first when the time comes. Now, now, now don’t start with all that ‘value as a third baseman’ stuff. This deal is also about franchise faces that don’t get written about as punks. This is a credibility move and he can play first and be credible too.

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      • Fiery Furnaces says:

        swtich Rendon to 2nd that is…

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  10. Brandon says:

    I think part of the issues some people have with Zimmerman would be mitigated if they realized how much of a park effect he had to deal with. While 2011 was kind of a waste, in 2010 he might have hit 35 HRs if his home field was a more neutral park (9 Home vs. 16 Away).

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  11. kid says:

    Nice deal for the Nationals. Zimmerman was turning into an offensive star in 2009 (.377 wOBA) and 2010 (.389 wOBA) before succumbing to major injury in 2011. Injuries are going to be part of the equation for almost every infielder, excluding first basemen, so the most we can ask for is that the players play great when healthy, and Zimmerman has certainly done that. Good power (career .191 ISO), good contact (82% career) – Good deal for both sides, really.

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  12. Hank says:

    Dave… there is no “standard 5mil/WAR” …It is a number that is non-data based that you keep trotting out enough that everyone for some reason thinks it’s now a valid #. I though SABR communities were beyond memes.

    Why not use a data driven, #’s based approach ?(this is a SABR site right)

    Why not simply take last years $/WAR and assume 5% inflation? Why do you continue to insist on 11% inflation this year and 5% inflation in all future years?

    This idea that 5mil is somehow a “standard” is absurd, and I would think a SABR oriented author would be better than that.

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      • Fiery Furnaces says:

        Just sayin’ mr stat driven – where would you place the value that was missing from your post? 4.5? Can’t say 4 cause that was years ago.
        We have this argument every time.

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      • Hank says:

        Fiery:

        Look at last year’s # and apply the same inflation rate folk assume exists over the rest of the contract?

        Do a regression?

        Or you could also apply a 5% inflation scale on a three year average (such that year -2 would be the average, last year would be average +5%, and this year would be +5% of that).

        How do we deal with evaluating player skill? Do we just look at last year’s # and round it to up or down to the next whole # for convenience?

        ———

        I would do one of the following:

        1) Take last years value and apply 5% inflation (~4.75)

        2) Use a 3 year average (2009-2011) – I think that is 4.33. From there center that on the time period (meaning that would be the 2010 value), 2009 would be -5%, 2011 would be +5% , 2012 would be 5% on top of the 2011 figure… that would come out to 4.77mil

        3) Use somthing like a 5-3-1 weighting to get a 2011 $/WAR figure and apply a 5% inflation to that…. that would also come out to ~4.75. (though I think this is more coincidental as that sort or weighted average is not really appropriate as that almost assume no real inflation over that 3 year period)

        5mil is a completely arbitrary #… other than it being round, I’ve seen no explanation on why it is used. The fact that it is being labeled as a standard assumption somehow makes it sounds like it is either a real # or based on some actual projection analysis.

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      • Baltar says:

        Yes, Fiery and Hank, where we have no accuracy at all we must have 2-decimal-point precision.

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    • MalinsDad says:

      Majority of the regular readers of this site are aware that the 5mil/WAR that Dave uses is not the standard used in valuing contracts.

      Its just the method he prefers, and any reader is free to use whatever ratio he/she wants for their own analysis. We do not even need a new approach for this kind of analysis because readers can decide for themselves what they want to use.

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      • Raff says:

        Dave,

        It would be helpful to include a hyperlink to relevant previous articles when referring to “the standard $5 million per win…5% inflation” in the article. Just so those of us who need the refresher can find it more easily.

        Good analysis, as usual.

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  13. CJ says:

    For what it’s worth, the third baseman on the “most similar” list for Ryan Zimmerman at Baseball-Reference.com: are Scott Rolen, Eric Chavez, David Wright, and Aramis Ramirez. Wright is too young to compare, but Aramis Ramirez is entering his age 34 season. So far, Ramirez has average a little over 3 WAR per season since 2007. One think I notice with a lot of these players is that most of them have seasons with large reductions in PAs due to injury as they get older. I’m not sure if 3d basemen show more susceptibility to injury than other positions. (Shoulder injuries seem to be a vulnerability for the position.) But I’m not sure that calculating the comparables’ WAR on a “per 600 PA” basis is showing us the declining PAs associated with injuries.

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    • jeff_bonds says:

      That’s strange that Aramis Ramirez would be Zimmerman’s comp. I always thought of Aramis as a no-gloves guys.

      One other thing, Zimmerman is a UVA product and from the Tidewater area, making him something of a local guy. Obviously it doesn’t factor into his baseball value, but maybe gave the Nats an extra incentive to lock him up.

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      • CJ says:

        I don’t think B-Ref’s similarity scores take into account defense, other than a position adjustment. In general, Aramis Ramirez’s advanced metrics rating aren’t good. In terms of reputation, I have been under the impression that he was viewed as a bad fielder early in his career who worked his way into an average to above-average defender.

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    • bstar says:

      Another thing about those b-ref comps: they are not time-adjusted at all. We’re comparing Aramis Ramirez in the heart of the steroid era(1998-2004) to Zimmerman’s 2005 to present date, a tougher era to put up good offensive numbers. Despite that, Ramirez only posted a 101 OPS+ in the steroid era, while Zimmerman is at 120 for his career.
      No comparison.

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  14. bigfan says:

    I think the A’s signed Chavez because they strongly suspected the other big hitting infielder on the roster (Miguel Tejada) might have been on the juice.

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  15. kick me in the GO NATS says:

    A decent deal for the best team in Sports! Thankfully Zimmermann is a super stand up guy, so this contract is easy to say yes too. YES!!

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  16. Antonio Bananas says:

    I like the deal. There isn’t just the “average WAR/$” argument. There’s also the “what benefit do the Nats get” question. They surely get more value than just his production from signing “their guy”. RZ is seen as the guy who started the Nats becoming relevant. He’s pretty awesome and if they win a WS or even become a consistent playoff contender over the next few years, even if his production doesn’t quite match the WAR/$, I’m sure the signing will be appreciated.

    Basically I feel that the “utility” the team and fans get from keeping him makes it so that he’ll have to be a major bust for this to not seem like a good sign 20 years from now.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      RZ is seen as the guy who started the Nats becoming relevant.

      1. Are the Nats really relevant?
      2. The year they had the nation’s attention, it had nothing to do with RZ.

      If the Nats reach relevance, it’s going to be all about the Dynamic Duo (Strasburg and Harper), and RZ will continue to be over-looked and or under-valued.

      I am not slighting RZ at all, and am actually glad he “got his”. But for the Nats to give some sort of “franchise tag” reward, the Nats really should have experienced more success.

      This deal/timing only makes sense if the Nats feel RZ would have gotten a lot more when he hit FA and would not resign with WAS. I’m skeptical that would happen.

      It could be that WAS is looking to solidify its name with the rest of the players in the league as a team that’s “serious about it” with Werth, Zim, and the Dynamic Duo.

      Are there FA after the 2012 season that make sense for WAS?

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Maybe they were looking at the Pujols/Fielder contracts and thinking that 6/100 was a bargain and didn’t want to get into a bidding war with other teams, specifically 2 big market ALE teams that will have 3B concerns at the end of 2013.

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      • bstar says:

        That’s the part of this deal I like the most, that it is telling both fans and future potential free agents that they are serious about winning. I think the Jayson Werth deal had a similar rationale behind it;unfortunately, well, you know.

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      • Well-Beered Englishman says:

        Hell yes there are FA after 2012 that make sense for WAS. Michael Bourn heads the center field class, and is a Boras client.

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      • Tom says:

        Clearly not written by a Nats fan. Nationals fans are thrilled about Strasburg and Harper, but we love Zim. He is often compared to Cal Ripken. No, he is not to that level, and has had obviously more injuries than the Iron-man, but he is beloved and there is no other player we want as the Face of the Franchise. Zimmerman is not unappreciated in DC.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        Circle, I more meant that it was a guy it felt like Nats fans believed in. He is considered the best NL third basemen. The Nats are relevant. they were 80-82 last year, they were no longer a guarantee series win. Without a strong foundation, you can’t build. Zimmerman represents that foundation. I realize that they have been a bad team most of his career, if not all of it (depends on your definition).

        My point is that if they win, people will look back and appreciate him more. There is a qualitative value there that must be thought about too. I know this is fangraphs and “lol @ qualitative” but it’s true. There has to be excess utility that the fans, ownership, and other players get from him being a Nat for life.

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  17. CircleChange11 says:

    What’s problematic for me is ….

    1. He’s coming off a season where he missed a lot of games due to injury.
    2. He was already signed for 2012 and 2013.
    3. Yet they signed him to a “market deal” 6 year extension. So, RZ got [1] more money and [2] more years at a point in time where his leverage was reduced.

    WAS didn’t get ANY discount for the extension or for the injury 2011?

    If WAS was able and willing to do an extension, following 2011 would have been the “perfect” time to get it at a reduced cost.

    They could have pointed to the team assuming some risk because of the injury while providing him security for the next 6 years (8 if we include the already existing contract years).

    Had WAS waited until after 2012 and got a better gauge on how RZ would come back from an injury season, he’d likely STILL accept a 6/100 contract before entering his 2013 FA year. I say this because he’s [1] he’s likely not going to get that much of a better deal than that and [2] if he is injured again in 2012 or doesn’t bounce back as strong, he figures to make a lot less.

    The team’s extension essentially treated him as if he came off just another great, consistent year in his career. It’s also his second “injury season”.

    Perhaps they’re paying for positional scarcity which I somewhat understand.

    +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • blovy8 says:

      I think he would have asked for close to Tulo numbers if he was coming off a three year run instead of an injured, weak season. Three 5+ bWAR or 7+ fWAR seasons in a row would have built a much better resume going into this season, and the club would have perhaps won a few more games and actually be closer to the wildcard in their own estimation. Waiting a year risks that if he has a great year in 3 out of 4 seasons (which is what you want) he’s going to deserve a lot more next year. This was the time to get the deal, next year the dynamic would either be on his side, or his numbers would be such that they probably wouldn’t take the chance on an extension. This deal actually builds in some injury protection since he doesn’t have to give them that 20 million a year performance level for it to work financially, and he’s deferring some of it.

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    • Baltar says:

      My initial reaction to this extension was negative, but I couldn’t really define why.
      I think you have done so exquisitely.

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  18. Richie says:

    It’s good for any and all organizations to visibly reward their employees for doing their job well.

    Doesn’t mean you overpay, as the Cards and Brewers rightly assessed. But paying your own does have some positive effect on overall effort from your people.

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  19. Richie says:

    I’d like to see an assessment of how no-trade clauses work out for organizations. I suspect they’re not much significant overall. But I’d be interested in what an actual study of such wound up showing.

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  20. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    Random irrelevant factoid: Ryan Zimmerman has 8 career walk-off home runs. The all-time record is 12, held by a group of men with names like Foxx, Mantle, and Ruth. The active leaders are Jim Thome (12 at age 41), David Ortiz (9 at age 36), and Ryan Zimmerman (8 at age 27). At the rate he’s going, the Walkoff Kid could have the record sewn up at age 30.

    Note: this somewhat shaky research comes from Google.

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    • Barkey Walker says:

      I believe that there are 12 players with 12 walk off home runs. I’d be somewhat surprised to see Thome increase that number in Philadelphia because you have to be down by a few, at home, and not get pinch run for until the 9th to get one. Now, if the move him to pinch hitter sooner rather than latter, then yes, he could easily have another. Thome would be a great guy to have that record.

      That said, it would be awesome to see Zimmerman take on that title and surpass the greats on that list.

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      • Phrozen says:

        You can get a walkoff HR in a tie game. Plus, Thome’s likely to be most heavily used as a PH anyway.

        But yeah, Zim’s certainly got a chance to sew that record up for himself.

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