The Washington Times - February 26, 2012, 07:20PM

VIERA, Fla. — Ryan Zimmerman’s contract extension was the talk of the Nationals’ clubhouse on Sunday as the team’s leader was locked up for the foreseeable future. 

So here’s what some of Zimmerman’s teammates had to say about the deal:


Jayson Werth:

“It’s great. I’m happy for him. That guy’s been through it all here in this organization and been through some rough years. He’s always taken the high road and been the type of guy he is. He got rewarded for it.

Asked if there was one thing that stuck out to Werth about Zimmerman after playing with him for a year he kept it simple: “He’s just really good, I mean…”

“His attitude, his mentality, he’s a true professional.”

On how important this deal was for the Nationals: “He set a date he wanted to get it done by. If he doesn’t get it done, he sticks to that and we lose him, that’s a grave, grave loss to the organization in more ways than one. I’m just happy it got done. We can get through this day and then we’ve got a long relationship of winning baseball ahead of us, I think.”

On if he could see several of the Nationals’ young, talented players follow suit: “You know, I think in this game you earn what you get. It takes time to earn a contract like that and I think it’s more of a testament to what Ryan’s done over the course of his career to this point. We’ve got guys who have a lot of talent and they’re young. I think they’ve got a long way to go before they’re in the type of situation that would warrant a long-term contract of that stature. Doesn’t mean that they can’t get it, but they don’t just give those things out.”

Drew Storen:

“It’s obviously something that I wanted and I’ve been a big advocate for. He’s a guy that’s been a staple in this organization for a long time, to have that, it’s just something that we all wanted. He’s a big leader for this team, he’s been here for a long time and he really knows how to really handle himself professionally.

“I definitely wouldn’t be too happy about seeing somebody else over (at third base). His ability to step up in a big situation, too, says a lot about him as a player. I did an interview the other day and someone asked: ‘Who would it be if you absolutely had to have somebody get a hit for you?’ It’s him. He steps up every time. I’m glad it all worked out.  

“It says a lot about what ownership and Mike Rizzo, are working for. I think that’s good when they take guys and say, ‘Hey, we want to have them stick around for a little bit.’ I like that. Especially, that goes on both sides. I think people have to appreciate a guy like Zim that says ‘I want to stick around here and I want to play for this team,’ because that’s not the way a lot of guys are.

“The way he went about it, it shows you what kind of person he is, what kind of teammate he is. I think too that shows what kind of, what kind of vested interest we have in the team, that we’re not out here just kind of playing for ourselves.”

John Lannan:

“Not only is he a teammate but he’s one of our friends. We support the decision on both sides to come to an agreement. Anything that comes with that contract he deserves so we wanted to be there for support and show him we were there for him. 

“I think he knew where he wanted to be, part of this organization, since Day 1. I think they’ve built this team around him and kind of tried to get guys like him. He goes about his business, does his job, works hard, great hitter, great defensive player, he fits the mold for staying with his team his whole career.

“It’s the first of many (long-term extensions for the Nationals), I think. I don’t know for sure but those types of deals, they have guys in this organization that are going to be in that position and if anybody deserves it first, it’s him. I’m glad they came to an agreement and I’m glad he was the first one to get it.”

Stephen Strasburg:

“It’s huge and you know what, he’s a great player but he’s an even better person. He’s very deserving of it and you don’t really see that too much. Obviously my college coach, (Tony Gwynn) he was a Padre his whole career and it’s really great to see another guy who’s going to be with one team his whole career.

“I think just all the work that he’s put in, he’s been through the (bad) times and now hopefully it’s going to be the good times. He’s a National and obviously he wanted to be a National for his whole career. I’m just happy for him.” 

Strasburg was also asked if playing with just one team in his career would appeal to him. Here’s his response:

“You get comfortable, you get to know the guys and stuff, you build a camaraderie. Obviously when you have a team like this that’s capable of winning, it would appeal to anybody to want to stay here and win and win and win. I don’t feel any different.”