While it looks like the Nationals dodged a bullet with closer Drew Storen today, third baseman Anthony Rendon remains a question mark.
Rendon suffered what was termed as a minor MCL sprain in his left knee on March 9 and Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that he saw Dr. James Andrews earlier today for a second opinion. No word yet on the diagnosis, but Rendon continues to feel discomfort while doing lateral movements and it’s pretty much a given at this point that he’ll begin the season on the disabled list.
“We’ll see what the doc says, and we’ll take it from there,” general manager Mike Rizzo said following the Nationals’ exhibition game against the Cardinals. “Let’s see if it’s a concern when we hear back from the doctor.”
As Zuckerman notes, MCL injuries generally don’t require surgery, but he could be looking at an extended absence depending on what Andrews advises. Danny Espinosa will likely get the first crack at the starting third base job, which is quite a downgrade from Rendon’s MVP-level production last year.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.