National writer slams Zimmerman deal

National writer slams Zimmerman deal
February 26, 2012, 7:24 pm
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With the Nationals finally agreeing on a 100 million contract extension for Ryan Zimmerman, reactions from around the baseball world are starting to trickle in. Some say the deal was cheap, a 'hometown discount,' a contract that if the Yankees signed people would laud.

But then there are those that think the Nationals paid too much for a player with an injury history and one All-Star appearance to his name. Count Jon Heyman of CBSSports as one of the detractors.

Heyman points out the 100 million given to Zimmerman tops his total deal out at 126 million, the same dubious number attached to Jayson Werth, Vernon Wells, and Barry Zito: several of the worst contracts in baseball today. Heyman also cites a baseball executive who says, "Seems like they have two 100-million contracts but no 100-million payers (sic)." The second player would be the aforementioned Werth.

Heyman throws in after the '100 million players' comment, in parentheses, that the Nats have two players in Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper who "may be worth 100 million someday." Strasburg and Harper being two Scott Boras clients, interestingly an agent Heyman usually breaks news for.

Either way, Zimmerman's major problem has been health. The third baseman has missed at least 56 games in two of his last four seasons including 61 last season after having surgery to his abdomen. He is 27 years old and will be in Washington until at least the age of 35.

If his body holds up the deal could look great as Zimmerman is always productive when in the lineup. He is also terrific defensively with a Gold Glove award in 2009. But if his injury problems continue the deal could backfire in a big way. That seems to be Heyman's central theory.

It is an interesting angle to take, but what do you think? Is Heyman right the Nationals overpaid for Zimmerman?