Nationals activate Anthony Rendon from the disabled list for his season debut … as a second baseman

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Anthony Rendon is off the disabled list and will make his 2015 debut for the Nationals tonight after missing the first two months of the season with knee and oblique injuries.

Rendon played mostly third base last year while finishing fifth in the MVP voting as a 24-year-old, but he’s rejoining the Nationals’ lineup as a second baseman so that they can continue to play Yunel Escobar at third base.

If healthy Rendon is a huge addition to the Nationals. He’s a plus defensive player at second base or third base and hit .287 with 21 homers and an .824 OPS in 153 games last season to rank second among NL position players in Wins Above Replacement.

Rendon’s return means much less playing time for Danny Espinosa, who’s been the Nationals’ primary second baseman and now moves back into a bench role after hitting .246 with six homers and a .767 OPS in 44 games.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.