Minor-league rehab assignments are limited to 20 days, in part so that teams can’t simply stash veteran players in the minors indefinitely. In some cases, however, an injury lingers longer than 20 days and things become tricky.
That’s happening with Mariners outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, whose hamstring injury remains an issue after 20 days in the minors. Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that he’ll be examined by a doctor and then the Mariners will petition MLB for the right to have Gutierrez begin a second 20-day rehab assignment.
All of which seems mostly like a formality–MLB isn’t going to force Gutierrez to return from the disabled list when he’s clearly not fully healthy–but the bigger point is that injuries continue to wreck the once-promising center fielder’s career.
Another big free agent domino has fallen at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. Third baseman Anthony Rendon is signing with the Angels on seven-year, $245 million contract, per Jon Heyman.
Rendon, 29, was the top free agent position player. He’s coming off of a season in which he helped the Nationals win their first championship, batting .319/.412/.598 with a league-high 126 RBI and an NL-best 44 doubles along with 34 home runs and 117 runs scored in 646 plate appearances. Rendon also continued to play solid defense at third base. During the postseason, Rendon hit .328/.412/.590 with seven doubles, three homers, 15 RBI, and 11 runs scored in 75 trips to the plate.
The Angels badly needed to make a big free agent splash this offseason, and third base was as good a place as any to do it. Rendon will now slot easily into the middle of the Angels’ lineup along with Mike Trout. It remains to be seen if the Angels are done making moves, but they could use a corner outfielder and another starting pitcher.
Humorously, Rendon has said he’d like to retire by age 35, as Jesse Daugherty of the Washington Post alluded to on the Nationals Talk Podcast. This contract will take him through his age-36 season.