Anthony Rendon
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Nationals, Anthony Rendon settle at $18.8 million

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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.

Report: Angels to sign Cody Allen

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.

Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.

The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.