The Nationals have yet to hold any extension discussions with stars Bryce Harper or Anthony Rendon, agent Scott Boras told reporters at the GM Meetings on Wednesday (via Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post). Asked whether there’d be any talk about a deal for Harper before he reaches free agency next winter, Boras suggested that the matter is presently up to the Nationals. GM Mike Rizzo told the New York Post’s Joel Sherman yesterday that he’d be “surprised” if there were no extension talks with Harper this winter, though as Janes points out, those types of negotiations typically occur later in the offseason.
A bit more from the division…
- With both Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle under team control next season, the Nationals are less inclined to pursue top-tier free agent relievers, Janes writes in a second piece. Rizzo expressed confidence in that duo and offered a generally encouraging review of his relief corps overall, health permitting. Injury concerns are present, though, as Janes notes; both Koda Glover and Shawn Kelley were heavily limited by arm troubles in 2017. As such Rizzo indicated that it’s possible his team will pursue some right-handed bullpen help this offseason. Janes runs down several options that Nats fans will want to check out, and she also notes that Matt Albers may ultimately end up elsewhere as he cashes in on a career year.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson strongly downplayed the notion of signing an outfielder upon leaving the GM Meetings, tweets Mike Puma of the New York Post. Alderson indicated that a player that can handle some outfield as well as first base, or even just a pure first baseman are considerations, however. As Newsday’s Marc Carig tweets, that effectively points to regular center field work for Juan Lagares in 2018. Per Carig, the Mets have received trade interest in Lagares in the past and shown little inclination to move him. Of note, Carig also tweets that the Mets consider Jay Bruce versatile enough to handle both the outfield and first base, so a reunion remains on the table.
- Michael Conforto’s agents tell Joel Sherman of the New York Post that their client has received “excellent” medical updates from the surgeons that performed his shoulder operation thus far in his recovery. The young Mets oufielder is expected to be swinging a bat by late January and should be ready for Spring Training, as things presently stand.
- Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun Sentinel spoke to Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill about the team’s need for rotation help. Adding starting pitching is reportedly a priority for the Fish even as they look to pare down payroll by roughly $50MM and market several of their biggest stars, including Giancarlo Stanton, in trades. Of course, as Hill alluded to, the composition of the returns on their trades could well help to satisfy that priority. “We know we need to get better,” Hill said of his team’s starting pitching options.“Some of the trades may dictate what that looks like, what shape or form that looks like.” Hill also indicated that the Marlins could look at smaller trades and waiver claims as a means of adding additional options.