Even though it’s extension season in Major League Baseball, a new deal between the Nationals and contract-year third baseman Anthony Rendon doesn’t appear imminent. General manager Mike Rizzo said Saturday there isn’t anything new to report vis-a-vis Rendon, nor does the recent flood of extensions across the majors have any effect on the two sides’ talks, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post tweets. Rendon spoke about his future earlier in the week and didn’t sound particularly optimistic about an extension coming together. As things stand, Rendon’s on track to be one of the rare high-end players available in next winter’s free-agent class, which has rapidly lost its shine because of the extension trend.
More from the NL…
- The Braves don’t yet have to worry about extending first baseman Freddie Freeman, who’s under control through 2021. But when it’s time for Freeman to sign another deal, he hopes Atlanta’s the team that gives it to him. Freeman said this week that he loves Atlanta and would like to spend his entire career there, Mark Bowman of MLB.com relays. Regarding a potential extension, Freeman stated: “If [the extension is] four or five more years following [my current deal] and I’m declining, I’ll be out. I really will. I don’t want to put on another uniform for another year.” The 29-year-old added that he doesn’t plan to approach the Braves about a new contract, but “if they want to engage in that, I’m obviously here to engage because I want to be here for the rest of my career.” The club may take Freeman up on that in a year or two, Bowman suggests. At this point, Freeman still has $65MM left on the eight-year, $135MM extension he signed heading into the 2014 campaign.
- The Dodgers plan to deploy Austin Barnes, not offseason acquisition Russell Martin, as their primary catcher, according to manager Dave Roberts (via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register). “If you look at it from a five-man rotation situation I would say Austin three out of five,” Roberts said of Barnes, who nosedived last season after a stellar first-year showing in 2017. The Dodgers hope he’ll bounce back and team with the 36-year-old Martin, who’s in his second stint with the franchise, to effectively replace now-Brewer Yasmani Grandal. It won’t be an easy task – despite Grandal’s playoff miscues in LA, he was one of the game’s most valuable catchers during his four-year tenure with the Dodgers.
- The Padres’ rotation picture is becoming clearer, per AJ Cassavell of MLB.com. It appears highly touted prospect Chris Paddack and Matt Strahm will slot in behind Joey Lucchesi and Eric Lauer, while the battle for the fifth spot is seemingly down to Logan Allen and Cal Quantrill. Robbie Erlin had been in the competition, but manager Andy Green said Saturday the left-hander will open the year as a reliever. Allen and Quantrill, who rank among the Padres’ top 15 prospects in a stacked system, will each get one last chance to make a case for a rotation job Sunday.