(NEW YORK) — Even though the Washington Nationals have young up-and-coming players like Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg, the team has made it clear that third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will be the face the of franchise for years to come. The team has signed Zimmerman to a six-year $100 million contract extension that will run through the 2020 season if he option is exercised.
“I love pressure. I don’t think people get these kind of contracts that don’t want to be in pressure situations,” Zimmerman said. “Ever since I’ve been here, I wanted to be the guy that’s up last in the ninth inning. I’ve wanted to be the guy that everyone looks to. I’ve wanted to be the so-called leader. I relish being that guy. I love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Zimmerman is about to enter his eighth season in Major League Baseball, all with the Nationals. He won the National League’s Silver Slugger award in 2009 and 2010, and won a gold glove during the 2009 season. Despite missing 61 games last season, the 27-year old Zimmerman hit .289 while hitting 12 home runs and driving in 49 runs.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN