VIERA, Fla. (AP) - Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman hopes to have the framework of a new contract in place before Washington's first official full-squad workout of spring training.
He also repeated what he's said since being drafted by Washington in 2005: He wants to stay with the Nationals for the long term.
Zimmerman said Friday the point of signing this deal "is to be here, not to sign a deal that's team-friendly to have it with another team. That's the whole point of a deal."
He's set Saturday as a deadline for negotiations; that's when Washington starts formal workouts. Zimmerman says if "the big things," such as years and money, are settled by then other details can be ironed out later.
Zimmerman has two seasons left on a $45 million, five-year contract. He has spent his entire career with the Nationals, batting .288 and hitting 128 home runs since joining the big club full time in 2006.
Last season, Zimmerman hit .289 with 12 home runs and and 49 RBI in 101 games, but he missed most of the first two months of the season after having abdominal surgery.
ABC7's Justin Karp contributed to this report.