Scott Boras will advise potential No. 1 pick Anthony Rendon

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Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon told Dejean Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that agent Scott Boras will act as his adviser. Of course, Boras must be called an “adviser” for now because Rendon is still an amateur.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to see Boras involved with the highly-regarded Rendon. The 20-year-old underwent ankle surgery during the offseason, but he is widely considered the early favorite to be selected No. 1 overall in June’s draft, a pick which just happens to belong to the Pirates.

As indicated by Kovacevic’s tweet, there’s some history between the Pirates and Boras dating back to when Pedro Alvarez was selected No. 2 overall in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. Boras demanded that the Pirates renegotiate Alvarez’s contract after he claimed that the contract was submitted to MLB after the August 15 deadline. The Pirates placed Alvarez on the restricted list and Boras eventually got his wish.

It’s impossible to know whether history will get in the way of a potential deal with Rendon now that Boras is on board, but the Pirates could also consider University of Connecticut outfielder George Springer or UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole with the No. 1 pick.

Mike Rizzo and Shawn Kelley almost got into a physical confrontation

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A few weeks back the Washington Nationals designated reliever Shawn Kelley for assignment the morning after he threw his glove into the ground and glared at the Nats dugout in frustration after giving up a homer in a blowout win against the Mets. He was later traded to the Athletics. Nats GM Mike Rizzo said at that time that he thought Kelley was trying to show up his manager and that there was no room for that sort of thing on the team, offering an “either you’re with us or you’re working against us” sentiment in the process.

Today the Washington Post talks about all of the Nationals’ bullpen woes of late, and touches on the departure of Kelley as being part of the problem. In so doing, we learn that, on the night of Kelley’s mound tantrum, he and Rizzo almost got into a physical confrontation:

Rizzo headed down to the clubhouse and confronted Kelley, according to people familiar with the situation. The argument became heated, including raised voices, and eventually it almost became physical, according to people familiar with the exchange. Adam Eaton got between the two of them and separated them before things could advance further . . .

Might I point out that, the fact of this emerging now helps to vindicate Brandon Kintzler who, the day before, was traded away, some say, for being the source for negative reports from inside the Nats’ clubhouse?

That aside, the article does not make anyone look good, really. Rizzo had the backing of his team with the Kelley incident, but the overall story — how did the Nats’ bullpen, which was once a strength — get so bad? — does no favors for Rizzo. Mostly because he seems to have thought that they had so much extra bullpen depth that they could afford to deal away Kintzler, which he says was a financial move, not a punitive trade for being a media source.

Question: when was the last time you heard a baseball man say he had too much relief pitching? Especially today, in which the bullpen has assumed such a prominent role? Seems rather unreasonable to cut relievers when you’re trying mightily to come back from a sizable deficit in the standings, yes?