The Nationals’ Kevin Frandsen says Anthony Rendon is “the best young guy we have”

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Anthony Rendon is having a fantastic season so far. No doubt about that.

Nats’ utility guy Kevin Frandsen was on the D.C. radio show Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan this morning, and they asked him, of all the players on the team, who’s impressed him the most. Listen to who he mentioned as “the best young guy we have”

“Rendon,” Frandsen said. “Without a doubt.”

“He is as impressive as any young player; in all honesty, he’s the best young guy we have. By far,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anyone in the same sentence as him, as far as young guys.”

The hosts asked him specifically if he’s saying Rendon was better than Bryce Harper. This is the point in these kinds of interviews where the teammate will equivocate or talk about how it’s hard to choose or say they’re both awesome or something. But Frandsen stuck to his guns:

“Absolutely,” Frandsen said. “I would say that, because, this is a personal opinion, and watching it, and Tony, ah man, that is one of the coolest swings I’ve seen. And especially for, what is he, 23, 24-years-old?

“To be that consistent, to stay inside the baseball as consistently as he can, and to have that much pop. I don’t know how much the outside knows, but he hits balls farther than most people on the team. But he is so good, as far as staying inside and staying within himself, that just impresses me.

“And then moving from second to third, third back to second, second back to third, unbelievable. And his attitude, whether it’s a four-hit game, or 0-for-4, which rarely happens, it’s the same; it’s consistent; it’s just someone that you just enjoy watching all the time.”

Not a word about Harper. This a week after Tom Boswell — who reliably channels the messages of the Nationals front office — said that Harper may bt the Nats’ seventh best player and who said he’d be hard pressed to pick Harper over Rendon going forward.

Interesting.

Report: Yankees, Reds finalizing trade for Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray
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Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.

According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.

Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.