Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman Closing In On Extension

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals celebrates his seventh inning RBI single against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 13, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The Washington Nationals and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman both released statements that they believe a contract extension will be reached by the end of Sunday. Earlier in the day, the sides extended the deadline that Zimmerman set for contract negotiations because of significant progress.

Ryan Zimmerman's agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, released this e-mail via (via Bill Ladson of MLB.com):

"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. We are working on a structure that will allow the team to continue to add talent and establish a winner which is another goal of Ryan's. 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."

In another statement to reporters this evening, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo believes a deal will be done by the time they speak to reporters tomorrow. Here's his full statement, via Bill Ladson of MLB.com:

"We don't have a deal done yet, but we have made significant progress," Rizzo said. "We feel good about it and optimistic that we can reach an agreement, but there are some small details that we have to iron out through tonight and tomorrow. Hopefully, tomorrow, [by] the time we see [members of the media], we'll have something more concrete to announce. But we feel good and optimistic that Zim is going to be a Washington National for a very, very long time."

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