VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was in Phoenix late Thursday night to prepare for his arbitration hearing the next day. He was set to go to bed when he received word from his agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, that progress had been made in terms of getting a deal done. Within a few hours, Zimmerman agreed to a one-year, $3.325 million contract. Zimmerman was back at Space Coast Stadium by Friday afternoon. He took his physical and had a batting-practice session with hitting coach Rick Eckstein.
Third baseman working with Nationals to get deal sorted out WASHINGTON -- Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is not upset that he hasn't received a long-term deal from the Nationals. He realizes that baseball is a business and that it takes time to get a deal done. Both parties have been working on a deal for the last two years but can't agree on dollar figures. It now looks as though Zimmerman will be going to the arbitration table next month. He is asking for $3.9 million for this coming season, and Washington countered with $2.75 million. "We are still a long way from arbitration. We have a couple of weeks to try and do something," said Zimmerman during NatsFest on Sunday afternoon. "It's part of the game. It's a business. There are no hard feelings in any way. The relationship that we have had with the front office has been nothing but positive the whole time I've been here. That's the way it's always going to be." Zimmerman is positive that the Nationals will be better than the team that lost 102 games last year, thanks to the acquisitions of pitchers Daniel Cabrera and Scott Olsen, and outfielder Josh Willingham. Zimmerman also feels that a healthy Nick Johnson would help the Nationals tremendously, though he is aware that the team is not counting on Johnson -- who has played 38 games the last two years -- this season.