Saturday, March 10, 2007

No Long-Term Extension...For Now

The Nats renewed Ryan Zimmerman's contract at $400K. Apparently, they've been unable to come to an agreement on a long-term deal. Hopefully they'll keep plugging away. If they wait until after this year, the David Wright deal would be a perfect model because Zimmerman will have had about the same level of service time as Wright did when he signed his six-year, $55 million contract.

As a refresher...

Players get credit for a day of service time for every day they spend on the major-league roster. Until they finish a year with three or more years of service time, the team is free to renew them at any rate they choose, and Zimmerman's contract is in line with what other young players are paid. (You can see why having young players is so important; what would Zimmerman get on the FA market!?).

After three years (or 2+ in certain extreme cases which won't apply in Zimmerman's case), the player becomes arbitration eligible, and submits his salary request to a third party. That's what Chad Cordero and John Patterson went through.

Players aren't free to negotiate with other teams on the open market until after they've accumulated six years of service time. In Zimmerman's case, that wouldn't be til after the 2011 season.

In other words, that $400K salary isn't low, and there's no worry about losing him or to worry because a long-term deal didn't get done. There's certainly plenty of time between now and 2011 for the Nats to work something out!

  • Svluga adds more, and says not to worry. There's no hostility between the sides, and he indicates that the Nats weren't really ready to assume the risk of a long-term contract now.

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