Some people might say this is a slow news day, but I beg to differ because the Mets have signed catcher Rob Johnson to a minor-league contract.
Johnson figures to compete with Mike Nickeas for the job backing up starter Josh Thole.
Johnson spent the first seven years of his pro career with the Mariners before joining the Padres this past season, hitting .190 with three homers and a .544 OPS in 67 games. And as ugly as those numbers look they’re basically equal to Johnson’s career marks, which include a .197 average and .573 OPS.
Of course, Nickeas has very little major-league experience and hasn’t even hit much in the minors, so Johnson seemingly has a legitimate chance to win the backup gig in camp.
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.