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Mark DeRosa would be 'shocked' if Anthony Rendon doesn't end up on a different team

Mark DeRosa would be 'shocked' if Anthony Rendon doesn't end up on a different team

With Stephen Strasburg secured on a record seven-year, $245 million contract, the next question left to answer for the Nationals is Anthony Rendon. 

The All-Star third baseman is expected to get a contract that exceeds Nolan Arenado's $260 million contract from a year ago, which is a price the Nationals are most likely uncomfortable with given Mark Lerner's comments from a week ago. 

MLB Network's Mark DeRosa sat down with our own Todd Dybas to discuss Rendon's future, and while he doesn't buy the fact the Nationals can only bring back one of Rendon and Strasburg, he doesn't see Rendon coming back. 

"I would be shocked if he doesn't end up in a different uniform," DeRosa said. "I just think the market has presented itself now that teams like the Rangers, teams like the Dodgers are just going to be so gung-ho for Anthony's services that monetarily it might drive it to the point where it gets a little crazy."

Scott Boras is reportedly seeking a seven-year contract for his client, while the Nationals have also had reported interest in chasing Josh Donaldson if Rendon doesn't return. 

Granted, all the teams DeRosa mentioned, including the Phillies have all been rumored to have the same plan. If the Nationals know they don't want to bring Rendon back at the price he's going to get, they should move on Donaldson soon. Because as DeRosa points to, the market is playing into Rendon's favor.

"He's the best free-agent hitter out on the market, there's a lot of teams in need of his services, there's only one fallback in Josh Donaldson," he said. "[Rendon] is the guy."

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Ryan Zimmerman’s return to the Nationals is finally happening

Ryan Zimmerman’s return to the Nationals is finally happening

If Ryan Zimmerman did not return to the Nationals, he at least would have a future teaching how not to negotiate.

Zimmerman openly drove down his bargaining leverage for almost a year before signing a one-year deal on Friday to return to the only professional team he’s known, a source confirmed. The deal is reported at $2 million.

Throughout the season, Zimmerman openly discussed his interest in returning and understanding it would be at a low rate. As if his stance wasn’t already clear, Zimmerman explained at a screening of the Nationals’ championship video he would return or play more golf.

“So, we’ll be good to go,” Zimmerman said.

It’s baseball for now. Zimmerman rejoins the defending World Series champions to play his 16th season. He’s a 35-year-old platoon player this season. Zimmerman’s money and legacy have been established. He’s back in the fold to pursue another title. 

And he makes an already old Nationals team older. Zimmerman turns 36 years old the day after the 2020 regular season ends. Howie Kendrick will be 37 years old by midseason. Asdrúbal Cabrera is 34 years old. Eric Thames is 33 years old. Will Harris is 35, Daniel Hudson 32, Sean Doolittle 33, Max Scherzer 35, Kurt Suzuki 36. Yan Gomes will be 33 just after the All-Star break. 

Zimmerman will share first base with Thames and, occasionally, Howie Kendrick. They provide an intriguing splits-based platoon. Thames hits right-handers well -- 23 of his 25 2019 home runs came against them, as did much of his opportunity in Milwaukee -- and Zimmerman has a .917 career OPS against left-handed pitchers. Zimmerman is the much better defender.

He’s back because he -- and the Nationals -- believe Zimmerman’s production remains directly tied to his health. His September and postseason work showed Zimmerman’s bat speed remains intact. He is quietly one of the better defensive first baseman in the league. They think they can protect him. Overall, the Nationals are so comfortable with an expanse of older players because they plan to shield them with limited usage. Also, Josh Donaldson went to Minnesota, clearing the cash and providing a need for Zimmerman. 

Kendrick, Cabrera and Starlin Castro can play various infield spots. Thames and Zimmerman will reduce the other’s role, as well as pinch-hit when not starting. Davey Martinez has options. He also has the challenge of rotating players. One thing on his side: older players know they are just that. Grousing about playing time should not be an issue with the group, the majority of which played as role players last year on the way to a World Series title. 

One other thing to note about Zimmerman: he’s 30 home runs short of 300. Can he get there with another two years on the field? He has at least one more to add to his total, assuring his driver has another lonely summer.

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Scott Boras vehemently disputes the Jose Altuve buzzer-cheating rumors

Scott Boras vehemently disputes the Jose Altuve buzzer-cheating rumors

Renowned MLB agent Scott Boras outright denied the buzzer-cheating rumors surrounding his client Jose Altuve, in an interview with TMZ.  The high-profile agent didn't mince words about the allegations. 

After Altuve hit the series-clinching walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 2019 ALCS, the Astros' star appears to tell his teammates not to rip off his jersey. This led to rumors that he was hiding a device underneath it.

It's not factual," Boras said. "It's just innuendo."

There is nothing to any form of electronic dynamic," Boras told the reporter. "The Commissioner's office studied it. Everyone knows it."

Altuve publicly denied the rumors regarding the buzzer to help him tip pitches last weekend at the Astros' winter FanFest.

Altuve congratulated the Nationals on winning the World Series and believes everything from the fallout of the trashcan scandal will be resolved in due time.

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