The Rangers feel like they’re in solid position on star third baseman Anthony Rendon, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan writes. It appears as if the possibility of a shorter deal at a premium AAV might hold some appeal to the Rangers as well as Rendon. But it’s tough to gauge the likelihood that he’ll land in Texas. Per Sullivan, the sides have yet to launch “serious negotiations” on the price tag. You can be sure that Scott Boras will not rush into a signing if he feels competition can drive the price up yet further, so there’s likely some market development yet to come.
More recent chatter …
- Agent Scott Boras expressed skepticism regarding the Nationals’ recent declaration that they can’t afford both Rendon and Stephen Strasburg. The super-agent tells Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription link) that he sees ample capacity for the D.C. organization, which has done quite a lot of business with Boras over the years (to mutual satisfaction, for the most part). Britt Ghiroli provides further assessment of the situation in another Athletic piece, proffering a sensible distinction between what the club can do and what it prefers. As she points out, too, it’s also possible that owner Mark Lerner made the comments to buttress his bargaining position. And it’s probably fair to add that the Nats have generally not shied from carrying big payrolls and making large commitments in the recent past.
- Also skeptical? Rival executives, regarding the likelihood of the Red Sox trading Mookie Betts, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). That’s really not surprising to hear, though the reasoning offered by Nightengale’s sources is a bit confounding. The issue, he says, is that rival clubs won’t offer all that much for the outstanding outfielder. They “can simply wait until he’s a free agent next winter” rather than taking on a big salary and giving up valuable prospects. That seems to miss the point in large part, as a team acquiring Betts now would be doing so specifically to pick up his highly valuable age-27 season. Renting one of the game’s best players would obviously alter a team’s outlook for the coming season rather drastically; it stands to reason it’d cost something to do so.
- Lefty Rich Hill has not only drawn wide interest despite major elbow surgery … it seems he’s open to considering offers from all teams, so long as they have hopes of winning in 2020. In an appearance on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter link), Hill says he’s not focused solely on his two preferred landing spots (the Dodgers and Red Sox). While it seems that he’d still rather end up in one of those two places, the veteran says that they “might not work out.” He’s open to considering other contenders. And Hill left no doubt that he anticipates playing a big role in the 2020 season, saying he hopes to be ready to roll by June.
- The Angels are planning to sit down with backstop Martin Maldonado at the Winter Meetings, per Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group (via Twitter). That’s not especially portentous news, as Fletcher points out, as teams hold many such meetings this time of year. Still, it’s a notable connection, particularly since the catching market has developed on a relatively rapid timetable. The 33-year-old Maldonado spent on the Halos roster in 2017 and 2018, so the organization is plenty familiar with him.