Earlier this week, we learned that Jonathan Papelbon had 17 teams to which he couldn’t have been traded without his permission during 2015. The Nationals’ closer has updated that list for the 2016 season, as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports.
The list includes: the Diamondbacks, Braves, Orioles, Reds, Rockies, White Sox, Astros, Royals, Dodgers, Marlins, Brewers, Twins, Athletics, Pirates, Mariners, Rangers, and Blue Jays. There are five differences from last year to this year:
- Removed: Giants, Indians, Phillies, Tigers, Yankees
- Added: Astros, Braves, Mariners, Reds, Royals
Though Papelbon continues to rank among the game’s elite hurlers, the veteran’s age (35), lengthy no-trade list, $11 million salary, and notorious personality will make it difficult for GM Mike Rizzo to trade him.
With the Phillies and Nationals this past season, Papelbon saved 24 games with a 2.13 ERA and a 56/12 K/BB ratio in 63 1/3 innings.
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.