Photos 2009; 2005 © Cheryl Nichols. All Rights Reserved.

Posted by Cheryl Nichols, Contributor to Nats News Network

After another game slipped through our hands on Sunday, changes were made. Much of the news from the clubhouse last night was expected.

Better news followed. Ryan Zimmerman and the Nats reached a long-term contract! Reported as a five-year, $45 million contract extension. Press conference is scheduled for 4pm today. Great news for the team and fans that he will be around for several more years.

It was a busy, newsy Sunday night in the Natosphere. After reeling from the disappointing losses and bullpen make-over, there was another piece of news that trickled in.

Former Montreal Expo and Washington National Brad Wilkerson retired yesterday to end his eight year career. He leaves behind a .247 average, .350 on-base percentage and 122 home runs in his big-league career.


Ryan Zimmerman is the "Face of the Franchise" ("FOF") for the Washington Nationals. On the day the Nationals current FOF was getting a contract extension, our previous FOF was calling it quits.

Wilkerson, 31 was only in DC for the inaugural season, however, he was definitely a fan favorite. He was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1998 in the first round of amateur draft and was with the Expos/Nationals until December 2005 when Brad was part of the Alfonso Soriano trade with the Texas Rangers (along with Armando Galarraga and Terrmel Sledge). Wilkerson spent two years with the Rangers, was signed by the Seattle Mariners as a free agent in January 2008 (and then released in May), and then signed with the Toronto Blue Jays as a free agent in May 2008. The Boston Red Sox signed him as a free agent in February 2009 and until yesterday, was on the Pawtucket roster (AAA Red Sox).

Brad Wilkerson secured his historic tie to the Nationals by hitting the club's first hit on opening day in Philadelphia on April 4, 2005 as well as the Nationals first cycle and this second in his career.

Congratulations Ryan and Best of luck Brad!