The first-place Nationals have limped out of the All-Star break, but they are about to get a boost to their lineup, as infielder Anthony Rendon has been activated from the 15-day disabled list after missing the past month with a strained left quad.
Rendon began a minor league rehab assignment a week ago with High-A Potomac and went 8-for-17 (.471) with two doubles over six games. He’s playing second base and batting second in his return tonight against the Pirates. Meanwhile, Yunel Escobar is back at third base after missing two games with a sore left wrist.
Rendon began the season on the disabled list with a sprained MCL in his left knee before suffering an oblique strain, so he has only appeared in 18 games this season. Finally having him healthy down the stretch would be huge for the Nationals, who also have Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, and Denard Span making their way back from injuries.
Nationals center fielder Denard Span has been playing through a back injury for the past month, missing games on and off while actually performing very well. Recently the pain became to much to play through and now he’s been placed on the disabled list with what the team is calling “back tightness.”
No one seems quite sure what the exact problem is and Span sought further details from a back specialist, with manager Matt Williams calling the situation “perplexing” earlier this week.
Span has hit .304 with five homers and a .798 OPS in 59 games for his best production since 2009, but now he joins left fielder Jayson Werth, third baseman Anthony Rendon, first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, and right-hander Stephen Strasburg on a crowded, star-stuffed Nationals disabled list.
As we noted before, Bobby Bonilla’s deferred deal with the Mets isn’t anywhere near as bad and mockworthy as it’s often made out to be. But the fact is, it isn’t even the worst in the game, either as far as the money or the optics go.
Check out some of these gems, most of which was gathered from an article by ESPN’s Doug Mittler back in 2012:
- Manny Ramirez has a 16-year, $32 million deferred money deal from the Red Sox which, like Bonilla’s, kicked in on July 1, 2011. It costs them $1.968 million a year and goes through 2026 when Ramirez is 54;
- The Cardinals are paying Matt Holliday to play now, but they’ll still be paying him through 2029 under the $120 million, seven-year contract he signed in 2010;
- Retired Rockies first baseman Todd Helton deferred $13 million of his 2011 salary (total was $19.1 million) and will be paid through 2024;
- The Nationals will pay Ryan Zimmerman $10 million over five years after he’s retired, with a nominal organization job;
- Ryan Braun will receive $18 million in payments in equal installments each July 1 from 2022 to 2031;
- The Tigers are still paying Gary Sheffield between $1 million and $2.5 million annually through 2019;
- The Mariners are paying Ichiro Suzuki a chunk of his last big deal through the year 2032;
- The Reds signed Ken Griffey Jr. to a $116.5 million contract in February 2000, but more than half of that is still being paid by the team and will continue to be so until Griffey is in his 50s.
My favorite one, however, has to be from my Atlanta Braves, who tried to make a big splash by signing Bruce Sutter before the 1985 season. He was a bust of course, but this is how he was paid. From a 1985 Los Angeles Times report:
Bruce Sutter was to receive payments totaling $44 million over the next 36 years from his new club, the Atlanta Braves . . . Sutter will receive a $750,000 salary for each of the next six years and a minimum of $1.12 million a year for the remaining 30 years of the contract. In addition, he will get the $9.1 million in so-called “principal” at the end.
Bruce. Sutter. And you think Bobby Bonilla’s deal was a bad one.