Nats, Zimmerman close in on new contract

PAUL NEWBERRY AP Sports Writer Published:

VIERA, Fla. (AP) -- Ryan Zimmerman and the Washington Nationals are closing on a new contract, extending a Saturday deadline to reach an agreement.

Zimmerman's agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, says the two sides "bridged multiple important gaps on major parts of the contract" during talks that extended into the night.

There's still work to do, but Zimmerman has put off his initial deadline to get a deal done by Saturday, when the first full-squad workout of spring training was held.

Zimmerman has two seasons left on a $45 million, five-year contract. He doesn't want talks to drag on too long, fearing it will become a distraction to a team that has some of baseball top young prospects and expects to make great strides in the NL East.