The Washington Nationals have retained their longest-tenured player after agreeing to a one-year deal with Ryan Zimmerman on Friday, pending a physical, according to the Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga.
The contract, which reportedly includes a $2 million base salary, could be worth as much as $5 million through various performance bonuses.
The first baseman has spent his entire professional career with the Washington Nationals, including 15 years at the major league level. In that time, he earned two All-Star selections and one Gold Glove award while totaling 270 home runs and a .279 batting average.
His career with the team culminated last campaign with a World Series title, with Zimmerman hitting an important home run in Game 1 against Gerrit Cole and the Houston Astros.
Though the Nationals declined his 2020 option worth $18 million, they thought highly enough of him to re-sign him on a new deal.
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Injuries have kept the 35-year-old from being a full-time contributor in recent seasons; he only played 137 matches over the past two years combined. Zimmerman ended the 2019 campaign with a .257 batting average and six home runs in 52 games.
However, he’s only two years removed from an impressive 2017 season in which he ended with a .303 average, 36 home runs and 108 RBI while gaining MVP votes.
Though it was the only season since 2013 that he played more than 120 games, it showed he can still be an impact player when he stays on the field.
The Nationals are likely banking on this upside while keeping as much of the clubhouse intact as possible after securing the first World Series championship in franchise history. At the least, Zimmerman can provide help off the bench for a deep lineup next season.
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