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Nats locking up Zimmerman?

From Robothal:

    Zimmerman The Nationals, trying to lock up their franchise cornerstone, are in serious negotiations with third baseman Ryan Zimmerman about a long-term contract extension, according to major-league sources.
    The talks are "moving in a good direction," one source said, but several issues remain. The terms are not known, but the target for Zimmerman is believed to be the six-year, $66.1 million deal the Orioles awarded outfielder Nick Markakis, a more accomplished player.

    Zimmerman, 24, signed a one-year, $3.325 million contract with the Nationals in February, avoiding salary arbitration. His extension likely would cover his remaining arbitration years and at least two years of free agency.

    --snip--

    Zimmerman, the fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft, averaged 22 homers and 100 RBIs in his first two major-league seasons, but was limited to 106 games last season due to a small labral tear in his left shoulder.

As some of you might recall, I've always been high on Zimmerman. At one point, I might even have compared him favorably to David Wright (though I hope not). But I have to say that a Markakis-like deal doesn't strike me as wildly appropriate unless the Nationals have an excellent reason to think that Zimmerman's going to be the player I used to think he was going to be.
And I'm afraid I don't like his trend. As a 21-year-old rookie in 2001, Zimmerman posted a 114 OPS+. At 22, 107. At 23 -- granted, with the bad shoulder -- 101. This season he's struggling. I'm not going to suggest that nine games tell us much of anything ... but wouldn't you want to see a few glimmers of that 21-year-old Zimmerman before committing north of $60 million? I would.