Washington’s Nationals and their arbitration-eligible players have until Friday to exchange salary figures for the 2019 campaign.
The team and its players can, of course, still work out deals before, or after, those figures are submitted, avoiding arbitration hearings as the Nationals usually do.
New reliever Kyle Barraclough, starter Joe Ross, infielders Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner, and outfielder Michael A. Taylor are the Nationals’ remaining arbitration-eligible players after left-handed reliever Sammy Solis and the Nats agreed on an $850,000 deal for 2019 earlier this winter.
So ... is there any chance this is the week the Nationals announce an extension with Rendon that will keep the 28-year-old third baseman in the nation’s capital beyond 2019? He’s set to become a free agent after this season unless he and the Nats agree to a long-term deal that will keep him in D.C.
The Nationals and Rendon’s representatives are going to be talking anyway, so why not talk extension again?
Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo told reporters at Winterfest in early December that he’d like to get an extension with Rendon done when he was asked if he’d push for a deal with the 2011 1st Round pick.
“I think we should, and I think we have, and I think we will continue to do so,” Rizzo said.
“He’s a guy that we drafted, signed, and developed, and he’s one of our own, so he’s a terrific player that nobody talks about.”
Rendon is coming off a .308/.374/.535, 44 double, 24 home run, 6.3 fWAR campaign, and he has now put up a combined .285/.361/.469 line and 25.8 fWAR in his six major league campaigns, accumulating the second-highest Wins Above Replacement among NL third baseman between 2013-2018, behind only the St. Louis Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter.
Rendon and the Nationals avoided arbitration last winter, agreeing to a 1-year/$12.3M deal on January 12th. MLB Trade Rumors is projecting a $17.6M salary for the third baseman in 2019.
Rendon too expressed an interest in getting a long-term deal done when he spoke with reporters at Winterfest, suggesting that the fact that there was even talk of an extension was a good sign.