Nationals GM Mike Rizzo says the club has made contract extension “offers” to third baseman Anthony Rendon, MASN’s Dan Kolko reports. The Nationals remain hopeful the two sides can come to an agreement.
Rendon, 28, is entering his fourth and final year of arbitration eligibility. He earned $12.3 million last season and is certainly due a raise. MLB Trade Rumors projects him to earn $17.6 million in 2019.
Rendon is coming off of back-to-back stellar seasons. In 2018, he hit .308/.374/.535 with 24 home runs and 92 RBI while leading the league with 44 doubles across 597 plate appearances. Rendon has also generally graded out as an above-average defender.
If Rendon were to go into free agency after the 2019 season, he would join a class of third basemen that would include Nolan Arenado and Josh Donaldson.
The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma reports that the Cubs have considered trading super-utilityman Ben Zobrist in order to free up payroll space, which would allow the club to address other areas of the roster.
Zobrist, 37, is entering the final year of his contract and will earn $12 million in 2019. According to Cot’s Contracts, the Cubs project to have an Opening Day payroll of about $204.5 million, just a hair below the luxury tax threshold of $206 million. The Cubs have notably been absent from the free agent marketplace, particularly involving Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, due to luxury tax concerns.
Last season, Zobrist hit .305/.378/.440 with nine home runs, 58 RBI, and 67 runs scored in 520 plate appearances. He played all over the field, logging 100-plus innings in both outfield corners and second base while also spending a handful of games at first base. With Addison Russell serving a 40-game suspension to open the 2019 season, Javier Báez will handle shortstop and Zobrist figures to be the starting second baseman.