It’s well known that the Nationals hope to work out a long-term deal with third baseman Anthony Rendon before he reaches free agency next winter, and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote over the weekend (subscription required) that Rendon and agent Scott Boras have been eyeing something in the vicinity of Jose Altuve’s extension from a year ago. Altuve was already under contract for two years and $12.5MM at the time he signed for an additional five years and $151MM, which brought his current contract to a total of $163.5MM over seven years. The Nats are already just a few million dollars shy of the luxury tax threshold, and bumping Rendon’s annual value from the reported $18.8MM figure to which he agreed on Friday would likely take them over the limit. The Nats have been willing to exceed that threshold for Bryce Harper, however, and perhaps the allure of keeping Rendon from reaching the open market would be incentive enough to do the same. As Rosenthal explores, the two situations are also somewhat related, as fitting both players onto the payroll would come with luxury repercussions — even when factoring in the likely stream of subsequent moves that would follow a new contract for Harper (e.g. trading a current outfielder).
More from the NL East…
- There’s still mutual interest in a contract extension between Jacob deGrom and the Mets, writes Mike Puma of the New York Post. The 2018 NL Cy Young winner agreed to a record-setting arbitration raise on Friday when he inked a $17MM contract for the upcoming season, and Puma notes that there’s a belief that any extension would need to cover at least five seasons at rates roughly commensurate with the annual salaries afforded to Clayton Kershaw ($31MM), David Price ($31MM) and Zack Greinke ($34.4MM). That’s a lofty annual price to pay, of course, though after receiving nearly a $10MM raise in arbitration this time around, deGrom’s price tag could approach that point in his final trip through arbitration next season anyhow. He’s controlled through the 2020 season.
- Other teams have been in touch with the Marlins regarding right-hander Dan Straily throughout the offseason, writes MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro in his latest mailbag column, and it’s possible that Straily could yet be moved before Opening Day. The right-hander agreed to a $5MM salary for the upcoming season on Friday and can be controlled through the 2020 season before reaching free agency. While the 30-year-old Straily was limited to just 122 1/3 innings last season, he’s pitched to a respectable 4.03 ERA over his past 495 1/3 innings at the big league level. Fielding-independent metrics don’t necessarily back that output, but Straily has outperformed his FIP throughout his career and, at the very least, is likely looked upon as a viable back-of-the-rotation option for a team in need of a fourth or fifth starter.