Zimmerman excited to have Werth in lineup

Zimmerman excited to have Werth in lineup

WASHINGTON -- Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said Tuesday he is pleased that the Nationals were able to sign outfielder Jayson Werth to a seven-year, $126 million contract.

The move means that Werth most likely will hit fourth and protect Zimmerman in the lineup.

"One of the best things about Jayson is that he is consistent," Zimmerman said. "You know what you are going to get out of him year in and year out. He can hit for average and power and he plays great defense, too. He is a great guy -- who went to the World Series. He has won a lot of games. To have that experience is going to help us a lot."

Now that Werth is the highest paid player on the Nationals, one wonders if Zimmerman will get a contract extension from the club. Zimmerman, who is considered the face of the franchise, has three years left on his current deal.

However, Zimmerman is not in a hurry to get a new deal done. He would like to see the Nationals improve before he thinks about an extension.

"I don't worry about that stuff. I made it known that I want to play in Washington my entire career, as long as [the Nationals] continue to move forward and make us better," Zimmerman said.

"Within a short time span, [I want to be] very competitive and have a chance to really win every year. I mean it when I say it. If we can do those things -- compete, get better and get to that championship level, I have no problem staying here the next 10, 15, how many years that I play.

"At the same time, they have to continue to make moves. ... We have three years left on my deal. I'm very happy with the deal that I signed. Would I like to stay here? Of course. Yeah."