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Scott Boras believes deferrals on Stephen Strasburg's contract leaves Nationals room for Anthony Rendon

Scott Boras believes deferrals on Stephen Strasburg's contract leaves Nationals room for Anthony Rendon

The moment Stephen Strasburg signed a record seven-year, $245 million contract to return to the Nationals, Anthony Rendon's future seemed to have come to an end. 

Mark Lerner said before the Winter Meetings began the Nationals couldn't afford to bring back both, and Rendon is now fielding multiple seven-year offers that figure to surpass the $260 million total Nolan Arenado signed for last season. 

But Scott Boras represents both Rendon and Strasburg, and explained on Tuesday how the structure of Strasburg's new deal leaves the door open for Rendon's return. 

“I think Mark’s comments were before the Strasburg negotiations were complete," Boras said. "That contract structure that Stephen did allowed certainly an opening and a consideration that probably the wasn't available to them in their decision making.” 

What Boras was alluding to here is the $80 million in deferred money on the Strasburg contract. Deferrals don't impact the luxury tax payment, but instead, keep the team's payroll down. 

“So I think it’s something that clearly opens doors for them," he said. "I think they can sign not only an Anthony Rendon but many players.”

Boras has already cryptically scoffed at Lerner's comments, referencing the extra $30 million they made from winning the World Series in October. 

It's his job to create the best market for his client, but it's clear Boras believes the Nationals have the means to sign Rendon. Whether they decide to meet his price is yet to be seen. 

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Astros players plan to make a team statement on sign-stealing scandal during Spring Training

Astros players plan to make a team statement on sign-stealing scandal during Spring Training

The Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal has rocked MLB and left a dark shadow over the league during offseason. Up until this point, despite a fired general manager and on-field manager, the players at the root of the scandal have remained silent on the subject and avoided questions from the media.

That will all change in Spring Training as the Astros players plan to make "a strong statement as a team," according to Astros' owner Jim Crane. 

"When we get down to Spring Training, we'll all get them together and they'll come out with a strong statement as a team and apologize for what happened and we'll move forward," Crane said in a media scrum.

Over the weekend the team held their annual winter FanFest where several players had to face the music as many players met with the media for the first time. Jose Altuve, who is one of the players who allegedly benefited from the sign-stealing, dodged the question as best he could. The Astros shortstop's comments coincide with Crane's, saying “I think the time to comment about that will come. It’s a little early for me to say something about it.” 

Outside of their FanFest event, there is little that has come out of the clubhouse. Their owner acknowledged the lack of communication from the players and said the players were advised to stay out of the conversation. 

"The players have been beaten up a little bit and they've been all spread out. They've just kinda getting [sic] advice to take it easy."

Already Spring Training in West Palm Beach is going to be awkward between the two teams that made the World Series last season. The Nationals, who won the World Series whether or not the Astros used their system to gain an advantage, have their facilities next door to Houston's.

And if the Astros sign former Nationals' manager Dusty Baker to the same position in wake of A.J. Hinch's firing, there will be even more tense situations at Spring Training this year. 

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MLB Rumors: Braves reportedly agree to one-year contract with OF Marcell Ozuna

MLB Rumors: Braves reportedly agree to one-year contract with OF Marcell Ozuna

The Braves had a massive hole in the middle of their lineup after Josh Donaldson signed a four-year, $92 million contract with the Twins last week. 

In response, the Nationals' biggest rival in the NL East has reportedly agreed to a one-year, $18 million deal with outfielder Marcell Ozuna. 

The Braves and Nationals both have to focus on replacing significant production at third base with Donaldson and Anthony Rendon moving on with lucrative contracts. The Nationals acquired Starlin Castro, brought back Howie Kendrick and Asdrubal Cabrera and are hoping for a big step forward from Victor Robles. 

With Ozuna, the Braves may have a better chance at replacing Donaldson in the lineup than the Nationals have with replacing Rendon. 

In two seasons with the Cardinals, Ozuna posted a .262/.327/.451 slash line with 52 home runs and 177 RBI. 

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