As the Nationals embark on a critical offseason that follows their first trade deadline fire sale in over a decade, their roster will look much different next spring from what it does right now.
One player not currently on the roster is first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. The 37-year-old played out the 2021 season on a one-year, $1 million deal, spelling Josh Bell a couple times a week and providing some right-handed power off the bench. Though he’s back on the free agent market, Zimmerman has stated on multiple occasions that he never plans to suit up for another team.
Whether he’s back in baseball at all next year, however, is still up in the air.
“We’ll learn a lot more here over the next few weeks about the CBA and I haven’t even been keeping up but it seems like those negotiations are starting to get going pretty good,” Zimmerman said Wednesday on 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies.
“So we’ll see some more, but yeah I’m enjoying some time off. I’m enjoying that, but I still definitely am planning on playing. But we’ll see what happens so no decisions either way yet.”
If Zimmerman does return, he would reprise the same role he had 2021 while also providing the Nationals with some veteran leadership in a clubhouse suddenly stocked with inexperienced players. The two-time All-Star would also have the chance to reach some significant career milestones. He finished last season 16 home runs short of 300, 47 runs scored away from 1,000 and one game under 1,800.
When he does retire, Zimmerman told the Junkies that he will remain open to sticking around the game — given he’s able to spend more time with his family. Zimmerman told the Junkies that he would consider a part-time role in the broadcast booth and, a few years down the line, he wouldn’t rule out returning to the dugout as a manager.
“I never thought about manager until they started just plucking [former players] Aaron Boone or Alex Cora,” Zimmerman said. “I wouldn’t do it anytime soon, but say six, seven years from now when all our kids are in school and our schedule’s a lot more — I don’t want to say easier, it’s not gonna get easier but you don’t have babies at home.”