Red Sox add reclamation project Jarrod Saltalamacchia in deal with Rangers

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Moments before this afternoon’s trade deadline the Red Sox made a move to get former top catching prospect Jarrod Saltalamacchia, which is interesting considering Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek are both impending free agents.
Given his recent health problems and uncertain future behind the plate acquiring Saltalamacchia shouldn’t be seen as a long-term answer at catcher, but he’s still just 25 years old and if nothing else makes for an intriguing flier.
In return for Saltamacchia the Rangers get prospects Chris McGuiness and Roman Mendez plus a player to be named later or cash. McGuiness is a first baseman and 13th-round pick in last year’s draft who has hit pretty well so far at Single-A, while Mendez is a 19-year-old reliever from the Dominican Republic with a big-time fastball.
Saltalamacchia’s stock has dropped considerably over the past two years as he struggled to stay on the field and failed to show much offensively when he was in the lineup, but if the Red Sox can get him back on track physically (and mentally) the switch-hitter could still be a long-term fit somewhere. For now, he’ll play at Triple-A.

Anthony Rendon is open to an extension with the Nationals

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Third baseman Anthony Rendon is reportedly open to a contract extension with the Nationals, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post said Sunday. Rendon told reporters that he didn’t know if agent Scott Boras would discuss an extension with the club, contrary to previous reports confirming the two had already started that conversation.

Rendon, 27, is coming off of his best career year to date. He finished the 2017 season batting .301/.403/.533 with 25 home runs and 100 RBI through 605 plate appearances, good enough to earn him sixth place in NL MVP voting. He made his third postseason appearance after helping Nationals through the National League Division Series, and contributed a pair of extra-base hits before the team was eliminated by the Cubs in Game 5.

Rendon is still arbitration-eligible through 2019, but stands to receive a hefty payday once he enters free agency in 2020. While it stands to reason that the Nats would want to lock up a player who contributed a whopping 6.9 fWAR last year, making him the most valuable player on their roster, an extension appeals to Rendon as well. “Why not stay with one organization?” he said Sunday. The 2018 season will be his sixth with the team.