Hey, remember how the Nationals absolutely, positively had to get a deal done by the time the Nationals had their first team workout Saturday morning or else?
Well, guess what? It seems that particular deadline wasn't so hard-and-fast after all.
From CSN Washington's Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman:
Though the Nationals and Ryan Zimmerman had yet to officially reach agreement on a long-term contract extension late [Saturday] evening, the star third baseman and the club made "significant progress" and expressed confidence the deal would be completed by [Sunday] morning.
"We have made significant progress on an extension for Ryan that would ensure he plays for the Nationals for a long time, which has always been Ryan's goal ... While there are still important aspects to work through, we bridged multiple important gaps on many major parts of a contract. Nothing is done until it is done, but both sides are optimistic that an agreement can be reached and Ryan can focus his energies on preparing with his teammates for the season."
Sounds like the biggest sticking point of the deal, Zimmerman's apparent demand for a no-trade clause, has been worked out. (Though to whose ultimate satisfaction, we're not sure.) Nevertheless, Nationals fans can be secure in the knowledge that Zimmerman's contract status won't hang over the rest of the season the way Adam Dunn's impending free agency did in 2010.