Anthony Rendon
Getty Images

Nationals, Anthony Rendon settle at $18.8 million

1 Comment

Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon is due a $6.5 million salary bump in 2019 after settling with the club prior to Friday’s arbitration deadline. Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the two avoided arbitration on a one-year, $18.8 million deal.

This marked the final year of arbitration eligibility for Rendon. The 28-year-old infielder rounded out his sixth season with the team in 2018, batting .308/.374/.535 with 24 home runs, a career-high 44 doubles, a .909 OPS, and 6.3 fWAR through 597 plate appearances. While he’s currently positioned to enter free agency in advance of the 2020 season, there have been plenty of rumors suggesting that a sizable extension is in the works — perhaps something in the neighborhood of seven years and $163+ million. At the very least, it appears to be an agreement both sides are open to discussing in the nine or so months leading up to the 2019 offseason, though nothing is expected to be even close to finalized until Bryce Harper‘s future is decided.

The Nationals also settled with shortstop Trea Turner ($3.725M), right-hander Joe Ross ($1M), and left-handed reliever Sammy Solis ($850K). They’re likely to go to arbitration with outfielder Michael A. Taylor and right-handed reliever Kyle Barraclough, neither of whom settled with the club this week.

Octavio Dotel, Luis Castillo arrested in drug, money laundering investigation

Getty Images
1 Comment

Five years ago, Octavio Dotel retired following a 15-year career in which he pitched for a then-record 13 different teams. I’m not exactly sure what he’s been up to since then, but I know that today he got arrested, as did former Marlins, Twins and Mets second baseman Luis Castillo.

That’s the report from Héctor Gómez, and from the Dominican Today, each of whom report that the two ex-big leaguers were arrested today in connection with a longstanding money laundering and/or drug investigation focused on one César Peralta. also known as “César the Abuser.” So he sounds fun. Gómez characterizes it as a money laundering thing. Reporter Dionisio Soldevila characterizes it as “drug trafficking charges.” Such charges often go hand-in-hand, of course. I’m sure more details will be come out eventually. For now we have the report of their arrests. According to the Dominican Today, four cars belonging to Dotel were confiscated as well.

Dotel didn’t debut until he was 25, and for his first couple of years with the Mets and Astros he struggled to establish himself as a starter. He was switched full-time to the Houston bullpen at 27, however, and went on to make 724 relief appearances with a 3.32 ERA and a .207 opponents’ batting average while racking up 955 strikeouts in 760 innings. At the time of his retirement his career strikeout rate — 10.8 per nine innings — was the best in the history of baseball for right-handed pitchers with at least 900 innings, edging out Kerry Wood and Pedro Martinez.

Castillo also played 15 seasons, with a career line of .290/.368/.351. He was a three-time All Star and won three Gold Glove awards.