Anthony Rendon
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Nationals to continue pursuing extension for Anthony Rendon

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The Nationals are still interested in extending long-time third baseman Anthony Rendon, general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters Saturday. The club tendered a contract to Rendon and six of their other players prior to the non-tender deadline on Friday, but stand to lose their star infielder when he approaches free agency in 2020.

While any concrete negotiations appear to be a ways off, there’s no denying that the 28-year-old Rendon has provided quite a bit of value to the team over the last six seasons. He ramped up to another career-best performance in 2018 and slugged .308/.374/.535 with 24 home runs, 44 doubles, and 6.4 fWAR over 597 PA for the second-place Nationals. He’s also a force to be reckoned with at the hot corner, and was graded the fourth-most valuable third baseman in the league behind the Athletics’ Matt Chapman, Mariners’ Kyle Seager, and Rockies’ Nolan Arenado.

Exactly what kind of deal is on the table remains to be seen, though it’s been widely speculated that Rendon is in line for a big payday — perhaps something in the range of five years, $125 million — given his immense talent and relative youth. It doesn’t hurt, either, that he’ll have agent Scott Boras advocating for him when the Nationals get serious about locking him up for the next few years.

Indians to sign Tyler Clippard

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Jon Heyman reports that the Indians are signing Tyler Clippard to a minor league deal. He’ll make $1.75 million if he makes the big league roster.

Clippard, a 12-year veteran who just turned 34, pitched in 73 games for the Blue Jays last year, posting a 3.67 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 85/23 in 68.2 innings. It was a nice bounce back year for him after he spent 2017 bouncing among three different teams in the course of a below average campaign.

With the departures of Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, and the elevation of Brad Hand to the closer’s role, Terry Francona will be looking for all the mid-innings help he can get in the Indians’ pen. Clippard could fit that bill.