First baseman Ryan Zimmerman is coming into the Washington Nationals after sitting out the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, agreeing in principle to a $1 million, one-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Friday.
The contract would include additional bonus provisions.
A second person confirmed to the AP there is an agreement in principle in place, without describing the conditions. Both people spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement had been subject to a successful physical.
The 36-year-old Zimmerman has played 15 seasons in the majors, all for the Nationals, who selected him with their first pick in the 2005 amateur draft shortly after the team moved into Washington out of Montreal.
He helped the franchise win its first World Series title in 2019, but did not play last year, picking out of the year due to concerns about his family’s health amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“At the end of the day, does a participant feel comfortable going into the field daily and — in my case, more importantly — feel comfortable coming home each day and feel as they’re not putting anyone else in danger?” Zimmerman requested in a June entrance of the journal of sorts that he occasionally wrote for the AP in 2020.
Zimmerman hit .257 with six homers and 27 RBIs in 171 at-bats at 2019, and homered to begin the Nationals’ comeback from a 2-0 deficit in the World Series opener against the Houston Astros. Washington won the championship seven games.
When he spoke landing Bell with colleagues last month, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo explained:”The purchase of Josh Bell isn’t going to prohibit us from looking for a fantastic right-handed hitter which comes off the seat or plays multiple places.”
Rizzo added:”We haven’t ruled out a’Zim’ reunion. That ability set still fits on our roster.”
While Zimmerman gave up a $2 million salary since he jumped last year, he did get a $2 million buyout for the declined option at the conclusion of his previous deal, which covered 2014-19.