Zimmerman: Bryce Harper's departure the 'nature of the business'

Josh Luckenbaugh
March 05, 2019 - 12:51 pm

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Now in his 15th season with the Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman has seen a lot of turnover on the roster since his debut in 2005. 

And while Nats fans are furious with Bryce Harper after the outfielder joined the rival Phillies, Zimmerman recognizes it as part of the business of baseball.

"The vibe we have in this clubhouse and the togetherness, it's different than years past," Zimmerman told The Sports Junkies Tuesday. "Every year is different. It doesn't matter if you have a guy like Bryce here, if you have a guy like Jayson (Werth) here."

"That's the nature of the business. People come, people go."

Zimmerman gave credit to general manager Mike Rizzo for consistently building the Nats into a contender despite losing players such as Harper over the years.

"I think that's what Mike has done and the front office have done such a great job year in and year out is giving us a chance to win," said Zimmerman.

"And Mike does such a good job of recognizing talent obviously, but people that are good teammates. People that come in and don't cause problems, so that no one has to worry about anything but baseball."

And even if no one individual can replace Bryce Harper, Zimmerman believes the Nats have the pieces not only to survive but thrive without him. 

"Everyone wants to compare and say, 'Oh, how could you not keep him?' And that's — it's business. It is what it is," Zimmerman told the Junkies. "But I think what we've done to prepare, what we've done to bring some new guys in, we've done a really good job of weathering that storm. We've been able to see — we've known this for years that it could happen. No one wanted it to happen, but it did. So we were ready for it."

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