UPDATE: Rizzo told Zuckerman that “enough progress has been made” to where there’s a belief that a deal will be finalized at some point Saturday night or early Sunday morning.
10:57 PM: Zimmerman said in an emailed statement late Saturday night that he’s “confident” about reaching an agreement with the Nationals. It’s not known whether that means the deadline has been extended.
1:16 PM: According to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com, Ryan Zimmerman just said that negotiations with the Nationals are ongoing. His camp proposed a “creative” solution to help bridge the gap and Zimmerman expects resolution “one way or the other” by the end of today. He also indicated that a no-trade clause remains one of the sticking points.
12:05 PM: Ryan Zimmerman hoped to have a contract extension wrapped up with the Nationals before the team’s first full-squad workout at 10 a.m. this morning, but his self-imposed deadline has passed without news of a deal.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said “no,” in response to Pete Kerzel of MASNSports.com earlier this morning when asked if there was anything new to report in regards to an extension. Meanwhile, Zimmerman told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he had heard no update.
Zimmerman is due to make $12 million this season and $14 million in 2013 before hitting free agency. He said yesterday that he is willing to sign a “team-friendly” deal, but reportedly wants a no-trade clause included in the contract.
Zimmerman has indicated that he would like to cut talks off today so that his situation doesn’t become a distraction, but Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com suggests that something could still get done in the near future, even if there’s no announcement of a deal today. As Zuckerman notes, the 27-year-old third baseman signed a five-year, $45 million extension in April of 2009 just weeks after saying he would hold off on talks until after the season.
MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reported earlier that the Nationals had interest in acquiring Gerardo Parra from the Diamondbacks. But it doesn’t sound like the 24-year-old outfielder is being made available.
According to the Arizona Republic‘s Nick Piecoro, the D’Backs have engaged in no recent trade talks involving Parra and don’t intend to deal him.
Parra was stripped of his starting job this offseason when the Snakes acquired free agent Jason Kubel, but the 2011 Gold Glove winner is viewed as a valuable piece of the Arizona bench.
“There’s a lot of reports,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said Saturday. “It’s amusing.”
Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson has been sidelined since Monday morning due to a mild (Grade 1) concussion that he suffered after blowing a tire and banging his head in a one-car accident.
But the 25-year-old is confident he’ll be able to play catch-up once he is cleared to return to action.
Here’s Hanson discussing his condition Saturday with a group of reporters, including beat writer David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
“It’ll only be a week off,” said Hanson. “I was throwing 50-pitch bullpens before I came down here [to spring training], so I don’t’ think a week off is going to set me back too much. After I start throwing for a couple of days, I think I’ll be back where I would have been last week. Most of the time at the end of spring training, that last week is kind of extra anyways. So I don’t think it’ll be a problem. I feel like I’ll be ready.”
Hanson registered a stellar 3.60 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 22 starts last season, fanning 142 batters and walking only 46 across 130 innings. He missed a large chunk of the second half due to shoulder issues.
Remember Lil’ Ron Washington? Well, he’s not the only youngster impersonating a member of the Rangers. From the Dallas Morning News‘ Evan Grant comes this shot of Mini Yu Darvish, who was spotted walking around the Rangers’ spring training complex on Saturday with a “MINIVISH” uniform:
Don’t hold your breath for a reunion between the Mets and former top prospect Scott Kazmir.
Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that the Mets were “unimpressed” with what they saw during a throwing session yesterday in Houston. One Mets’ source told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that it was “fair” to characterize their interest as “tepid.”
Buster Olney of ESPN.com recently reported that Kazmir was drawing interest from six teams after he was clocked in the high 80s with his fastball while throwing for scouts last week.
It’s easy to forget that Kazmir is just 28 years old, but he made just one start at the major league level last season and has a dreadful 5.54 ERA over 55 starts dating back to the 2009 season.