Ryan Zimmerman doesn’t hit a ton of home runs. He has 189 for his career through age 30, which is good for 35th-most among active hitters and is tied for 345th-most all time.
But he sure makes them count. Zimmerman hit a walk-off homer in the 10th inning last night to beat the Yankees and closer Andrew Miller, who hadn’t allowed a run this season.
And then, as has become the Nationals’ tradition, he got a bottle of chocolate syrup squeezed onto his head by Max Scherzer.
It was the 10th walk-off homer of Zimmerman’s career, which ties for him 10th in baseball history (via MLB.com and SI.com):
Jim Thome 13
Babe Ruth 12
Jimmie Foxx 12
Mickey Mantle 12
Stan Musial 12
Frank Robinson 12
David Ortiz 11
Albert Pujols 11
Tony Perez 11
RYAN ZIMMERMAN 10
Eight Others 10
There are only nine players in MLB history with more walk-off homers than Zimmerman and all nine of them have at least 379 career homers. He has 189.
Suffice it to say that Zimmerman has earned his “Mr. Walk-Off” nickname.
Bob Klapisch of The New York Times reports that free agent starter Gerrit Cole has a seven-year, $245 million contract offer on the table from the Yankees. As Klapisch also notes, the deal would set a record for total value and average annual value for a pitcher, besting Zack Greinke‘s $34.4 million AAV and David Price‘s $217 million total.
While it is possible that Cole signs before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday, clients of Scott Boras have tended to sign later in the offseason, so this may be a protracted process with today’s report as a jumping-off point. Both the Yankees’ and Angels’ front offices have received clearance from ownership to break the bank to sign Cole.
Cole, 29, could not have timed having a career year any better. During the regular season, he led all of baseball with 326 strikeouts and led the American League with a 2.50 ERA while also posting a 20-5 record and walking only 48 batters across 212 1/3 innings. He performed brilliantly in the playoffs as well, holding the opposition to seven runs on 21 hits and 11 walks with 47 strikeouts over 36 2/3 innings of work as the Astros narrowly missed out on winning another championship.
Cole is entering his age-29 season, so a deal of at least seven years would take him well into his mid-30’s. Teams, especially lately, have been hesitant to commit to pitchers, but as the Nationals showed with Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin, sometimes it leads to a championship.
For what it’s worth, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports says the Yankees haven’t made a formal offer to Cole yet, though the club plans to make one this week. During this time of year, both sides — front office personnel and player agents — leak details to the press to help establish leverage. What we can generally take from this is that the Yankees are hot for Cole and he’s going to get a record-setting contract from some team, even if it’s not the Yankees.