Your Monday morning MLBullets sampler platter...
- This weekend, the Washington Nationals finalized a six-year extension with star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, which will pay him $100 million over six years ... starting in 2014. The Nationals also hold a $24 million option for 2020, and Zimmerman gets a full no-trade clause. I understand why the Nationals felt they had to lock Zimmerman up beyond the two years they presently have him (with Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper hitting their stride in a couple years, and a young core of talent (including one of the better farm systems in the game), losing Zimmerman after 2013 could have been a serious problem at just the wrong time). I also understand that the deal, itself, is not necessarily unreasonable for a player of his talent. But, paying top dollar for a player's age 33, 34, and 35 seasons (for example) almost never proves enjoyable by the time those years roll around. Even moreso when the player in question has a long injury history.
- FanGraphs analyzes the Zimmerman deal, in part by looking at comparable players' performances from ages 29 to 34. Based on those comparables, Zimmerman is expected to perform exactly up to the value of his contract. How about that?
- Detroit Tigers' closer Jose Valverde has saved 50 straight games, but that leaves him a long way from Eric Gagne's record streak of 84. Statistically, Valverde is unlikely to get there, but he's already matched Gagne's glasses, and exceeded (by a country mile) Gagne's celebration after closing a game. Valverde gyrates like Ray Lewis on the dance line after every single save.
- Not a single player from the Houston Astros' 2011 Opening Day Lineup is expected to be on the field in the same position when the 2012 season opens. Given that the Astros finished with a league-worst 106 losses, I'm thinking that's a good thing.
- Minnesota Twins reliever Joel Zumaya will miss the 2012 season after tearing an elbow ligament. He'll have Tommy John surgery.
- Various MLB'ers tweet about the Oscars. What do you know? Their tweets are about as interesting as the show, itself. Which is to say, you know, not.
- The Mets will wear a number 8 patch this year, to honor Gary Carter.