Tom Krasovic of AOL Fanhouse is reporting that Adrian Gonzalez will seek an eight
year deal when he becomes a free agent after the 2011 season.
That would seem to be the going length for stud first baseman contracts in light of the Mark Teixeira
deal. But of course (a) that was handed out by the Yankees — who won’t be handing one out to Gonzalez; and (b) Gonzalez will be entering his 30 year-old season in the first year of his deal whereas Teixeira was a year younger when he started with the Yankees. That probably won’t make a big difference, though, and if I had to guess I’d say that he’ll get his eight years.
Rate is obviously the more interesting question. I have no idea what he’ll get or what he’s seeking, but part of me wonders if the same people who wonder what Gonzalez would do if he didn’t play in a pitcher’s park will criticize the contract he ends up signing because the numbers just weren’t there, man.
Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played in exactly one Grapefruit league game this year, and that was way back on March 2. Since then he has been totally absent from the Nats’ big league spring games, playing instead on the back fields in sim games and in minor league contests.
While that’s not an unusual course of action for an injured or rehabbing player, both Zimmerman and the Nationals insist that there is nothing wrong with him. Per this report from MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, they’re saying that Zimmerman “simply prefers to get his work done in the more controlled environment of minor league games, where the rules are lax.” He doesn’t have to dive for balls, he can lead off every inning, etc. Manager Dave Martinez says Zimmerman simply doesn’t like the usual spring training grind and that this is working for him so he’s fine with it too.
Are you buyin’ that? Not sure I’m buyin’ that.
I suppose weirder things have happened. The Minnesota Twins once let Jack Morris go back to his farm in between starts rather than stay with the club. Other accommodations have been made for veterans, especially in spring training. But this is way more in keeping with a team hiding an injury. Though I have no idea why the Nats would choose to hide an injury to Zimmerman. They’ve talked at length about Daniel Murphy‘s knees and Adam Eaton‘s seemingly never-ending rehab. If Zimmerman has some aches and pains, you’d think they’d talk about it.
On the other hand, if this is a legit story and it is simply an accommodation for a veteran who doesn’t like the normal spring training grind, look for Zimmerman to be a trailblazer, because there are a LOT of dudes who hate spring training too and would love to change things up like this.