What Zimmerman deal means for Rendon 

February, 27, 2012

The Washington Nationals really jumped the gun in signing Ryan Zimmerman to a six-year, $100 million contract extension over the weekend, since he wasn't due to hit free agency for two more years and is coming off a disappointing, injury-plagued season.

Absurd "face of the franchise" arguments notwithstanding -- fans root for laundry, not faces -- Zimmerman should have had to demonstrate his ability to stay on the field and recapture his old value on defense before Washington made a long-term commitment to him. Even though the salaries on the deal are reasonable if he stays healthy and declines at a normal rate, there's too much risk here for the team given what we've seen from Zimmerman in the past 18 months.

Keith Law

ESPN Senior Writer