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Zimmerman reaffirms Saturday as deadline for contract talks

Thursday - 2/23/2012, 6:47am  ET

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Ryan Zimmerman won't be talking about his contract after Spring Training officially begins on Saturday. (AP)

Craig Heist, wtop.com

VIERA, Fla. - All along, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has said he won't be talking about a contract extension once Spring Training starts, which for him is officially Saturday.

Zimmerman's agent, Brodie Van Waganen, was seen walking around the back fields during workouts this morning, fueling speculation that something on that front may be in the works.

On Wednesday, Zimmerman once again made clear he will not have any discussion with the club if a deal is not reached by then.

"It's been that way the whole time," Zimmerman said. "It's not fair for all these guys here to have to worry about that every day and it's not fair for me to answer questions about that every day. We have a good team, you can see everyone is here already. We are ready to start working and that's what it needs to be about."

Zimmerman has two years remaining on his current five-year, $45 million dollar deal which he signed in April of 2009.

Although the two sides have been talking on and off for almost a year, GM Mike Rizzo and the Nationals front office have yet to come up with an agreement to Zimmerman's liking. Zimmerman doesn't appear worried by it.

"Everything we have ever done has been positive," Zimmerman said. "We have a great relationship. I am very lucky to be in an organization that has someone like Rizz and the Lerner family. They are great people and it's just a matter of getting something done that works for both sides. If not, I have two years here no matter what and you can look at it with, whatever they do with two years left with people, whether they try to trade them or whether they let them play it out or whatever."

"You know, I have made it pretty clear this is where I want to play for a long time now it's just a matter of getting both sides with something that works and makes sense. It's not an easy thing to do. These things are hard and that's why it doesn't happen a lot in the game and hopefully we can get something done. I would really like to do it."

Zimmerman was asked if a deal was struck during the season that was acceptable to both sides if he would be willing to deal with it at that time.

"Obviously, it's hard to answers those questions now but honestly, I don't want to have to deal with (it) during the season. I think it's not fair, most importantly, to all these guys and to me either. If everything works out perfect, it would be done and we wouldn't have to worry about it anymore and we can go out and win 100 games. That would be cool."

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