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02/17/09 5:20 PM EST

Zimmerman, Nationals aren't at odds

Preparing for arbitration hearing, third baseman not in camp

VIERA, Fla. -- The relationship between third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and the Nationals is better than ever.

The Washington Post indicated in a blog on Tuesday that Zimmerman would not be in camp without a contract and the relationship between the two parties could be strained.

Position players reported to camp at Space Coast Stadium on Tuesday, but Zimmerman was a no-show. Players do not have to report to camp until Sunday, said a team official.

Zimmerman is preparing for his arbitration hearing, which is scheduled for Friday, and working out in Viera, Fla. He is scheduled to fly to Phoenix on Thursday. He is asking for $3.9 million, while Washington is countering with $2.75 million.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.