UPDATE: Apparently general manager Mike Rizzo wasn’t kidding about “working extremely hard” on an extension with Zimmerman, because Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the two sides are “close to a resolution.”
Ryan Zimmerman has said that he won’t negotiate a long-term contract extension once spring training is over, so the Nationals are making a strong push to get something done before then.
General manager Mike Rizzo told Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com that “we’re working extremely hard at it, and both teams want something and are working at it.”
Rizzo added that he’s “hopeful” about an agreement being reached, although with Zimmerman under team control for 2012 and 2013 at a total cost of $27 million the Opening Day deadline doesn’t carry quite as much weight as it would if he were 162 games away from free agency.
If they can’t reach a deal now the Nationals can always give it another try next winter, although if Zimmerman stays healthy and has a big season the leverage and price tags might be very different.
Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett can become a free agent after the 2019 season. He has become one of baseball’s better second basemen since the Reds claimed him off waivers from the Brewers in March 2017. Over the last two years, he has hit 50 homers with an .859 OPS. The only second basemen with a better OPS (min. 700 plate appearances) since the start off the 2017 season are José Altuve (.900) and Daniel Murphy (.876).
Gennett is upset the Reds haven’t been in contact with him to discuss a contract extension, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Gennett said, “We’ve definitely opened it up. They know I want to play here. They know I enjoy playing on this team. I enjoy the fans. I enjoy the coaching staff. I enjoy my teammates. They know all that. There’s nothing else to tell them at this point. It’s waiting for them to come back, which they have not.” He added, “(We’ve) heard absolutely nothing. Zero.”
As Fay points out, Gennett was born in Cincinnati and grew up a Reds fan, so this is a cinch for the club if it makes any effort. The Reds presently have just $58 million in 25-man roster obligations for the 2020 season.