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Nationals reach expected 1-year deals with Rendon, Turner to avoid arbitration

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Nationals reach expected 1-year deals with Rendon, Turner to avoid arbitration

As expected, the Nationals agreed to terms Friday on one-year deals with Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner in order to avoid salary arbitration.

However, the Nationals did not agree to terms with outfielder Michael A. Taylor or reliever Kyle Barraclough, which means they may take the rare step of moving to arbitration hearings with the pair.

Sammy Solis and Joe Ross, both arbitration eligible, previously agreed to contract terms.

The Nationals are typically loathe to enter arbitration hearings with players. Those proceedings can become contentious and hinder future negotiations, which is why the organization has avoided them since 2015 until possibly finding an impasse this season with Taylor and Barraclough.

Taylor remains in the mix as a fourth outfielder and ongoing offensive project. The Nationals hold his rights until after the 2020 season. Barraclough was acquired Oct. 10 from the Miami Marlins for international slot money. He’s expected to be one of the team’s late inning relievers. He is arbitration eligible in 2020 and 2021.

Here’s a procedural overview of what’s next for them:

If the club and player have not agreed on a salary by a deadline in mid-January, the club and player must exchange salary figures for the upcoming season. Unsurprisingly, the club files a lower number than the player does.

After the figures are exchanged, a hearing is scheduled in February. If no one-year or multi-year settlement can be reached by the hearing date, the case is brought before a panel of arbitrators. After hearing arguments from both sides, the panel selects either the salary figure of the player or the club (but not one in between) as the player's salary for the upcoming season.

Rendon is reportedly receiving a significant raise -- according to Bob Nightengale, he'll earn $18.8 million in 2019, up from $12.3 million last season -- following another excellent season. He finished 2018 with a .909 OPS and 4.2 WAR. Next for him is the big issue: Rendon is entering his final season before he can become a free agent.

He’s open to considering a contract extension. As is the team, which first approached him about an extension more than a year ago. The wrinkle is Rendon’s agent, Scott Boras. He prefers his clients reach free agency as opposed to sign extensions.

However, Stephen Strasburg opted for an extension in 2016 in a situation that reads similar to Rendon’s. When asked at the Winter Meetings, both Nationals president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo and Boras said they expect the sides to have further dialogue on a possible extension for Rendon.

The team holds three more years of control on Turner, who will continue to go through this year-to-year contractual process. He can’t become a free agent until his age-30 season. Like Rendon, Turner received a large raise. He’ll reportedly make $3.725 million next season, well above the $577,200 he made last season, which was slightly above league minimum.

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Stephen Strasburg saves Nationals from series sweep

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Stephen Strasburg saves Nationals from series sweep

With 11 strikeouts and only two hits in eight innings, Stephen Strasburg contained the Marlins to nothing as the Nationals won 5-0 in Miami. Here are the latest news and notes after Sunday’s victory.

Player notes:

Anthony Rendon remains day-to-day after being hit on his left elbow by a pitch Saturday. He left Saturday’s game and missed Sunday’s outing as well. Howie Kendrick, his replacement thus far, finished the series against Miami going 1-for-3 with a single RBI.

Stephen Strasburg posted double-digit strikeouts for the first time this season (11). Strasburg dropped his ERA by almost 1.5 runs, and is expected to start next against the Padres. That series begins Friday, April 26.

Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-4 with two home runs. He tallied two RBIs as well.

Injuries:

3B Anthony Rendon: Elbow hit by pitch, day-to-day

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, 10-day IL

RP Justin Miller: Back, 10-day IL

SS Trea Turner: Finger, 10-day IL

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, 10-day IL

Coming Up:

Monday, 4/22: Nationals @ Rockies, 8:40 p.m. ET, Coors Field

Tuesday, 4/23: Nationals @ Rockies, 8:40 p.m. ET, Coors Field

Wednesday, 4/24: Nationals @ Rockies, 3:10 p.m. ET, Coors Field

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3 things to watch when the .500 Nationals head to Colorado

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3 things to watch when the .500 Nationals head to Colorado

The Nationals face the Rockies at Coors Field for the first half of this work week. Here are three things to watch for:

  1. Can the Nationals stay above .500? Stephen Strasburg’s impressive start along with Ryan Zimmerman’s two homers and two RBI kept Washington from being swept by the lowly Marlins.

  2. Who will produce with Anthony Rendon out? While the Nats 3B was sidelined with an elbow injury after being hit by a pitch in Saturday’s outing against the Marlins, Howie Kendrick started in his place. Kendrick went 1-for-3 vs Miami with one RBI and one strikeout. In terms of replacing Rendon’s hitting prowess, Victor Robles has started a streak of his own. The youngster is hot on a seven game hit streak, including a bunt over the infield Sunday.

  3. Will the Nationals ever sure up their end game? Yesterday’s ninth inning was on the brink of disaster. Kyle Barraclough allowed back-to-back walks, then Sean Doolittle loaded the bases. Luckily for the Nats, crisis averted.

Download the MyTeams app for even more Nationals content, and check out the latest episode of the Racing Presidents podcast below.

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