Nationals Won't Pick up Option on Ryan Zimmerman

Washington Nationals Victory Parade
Washington Nationals Victory Parade / Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The first player ever drafted by the Washington Nationals just won his first World Series with the team, but all of a sudden there's a possibility he won't be back in D.C. next season.

Per Jon Heyman, the Nationals declined the option on Ryan Zimmerman's contract, sending the veteran to free agency.

While Zimmerman will be available on the open market, it's expected that the 35-year-old will at the very least be in discussion with the Nats over a new deal, one that wouldn't pay him $18 million.

The Nats drafted Zimmerman in 2005, and he's since spent his entire career with the franchise. He's posted a career slash line of .279/.343/.475 and hit 270 homers across 15 seasons.

It's near impossible to imagine Zimmerman not returning to the Nats in the offseason, but the team felt they couldn't justify handing $18 million to the veteran who has appeared in just 137 games over the past two seasons, and has featured in more than 140 games in a campaign just once since 2014.

In 2019, Zimmerman played in 52 games while dealing with injury, though he was healthy for the Nats' World Series run. He slashed .257/.321/.415 with 6 home runs and 27 RBI.