Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman hopes to have the framework of a new contract in place before Washington's first official full-squad workout of spring training.
He also repeated what he's said since being drafted by Washington in 2005: He wants to stay with the Nationals for the long term.
Zimmerman said Friday the point of signing this deal ''is to be here, not to sign a deal that's team-friendly to have it with another team. That's the whole point of a deal.''
He's set Saturday as a deadline for negotiations; that's when Washington starts formal workouts. Zimmerman says if ''the big things,'' such as years and money, are settled by then other details can be ironed out later.
Zimmerman has two seasons left on a $45 million, five-year contract.