Zimmerman close to contract extension

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is close to signing a contract extension with the Nationals, according to a baseball source. The contract would cover at least Zimmerman’s final two years of arbitration.

The source said an announcement may not be made for at least a week. Team president Stan Kasten and agent Brodie Van Wagenen have been working on a new deal for Zimmermann since March 1, the day Jim Bowden resigned as general manager.

As one person familiar with the negotiation put it, “[The two parties] are on the same page. It’s the agent that is holding it up.”

Kasten and Van Wagenen did not return phone messages.

When asked if a deal was close, Zimmerman said he was not aware of any negotiations going on between Kasten and Van Wagenen. It fact, Zimmerman said he did not want to negotiate a contract extension during the season.

“Talk to Stan and Brodie. Maybe they are doing something, but I’m playing baseball,” Zimmerman said. “I haven’t heard anything.”

Zimmerman is considered by many to be the Nationals’ best player. In his first two years with Washington, Zimmerman averaged 100.5 RBIs, but he missed 48 games last year because of a left labrum tear.

Entering Friday’s action this season, Zimmerman is hitting .243 with two home runs and eight RBIs. 

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