Right now, it all seems to be lining up for Anthony Rendon to become a Los Angeles Dodger. First and foremost, the Washington Nationals made waves in signing Stephen Strasburg to a record deal on Monday.
Why is this impactful for the Dodgers’ pursuit of the superstar third baseman? Perhaps you heard last week when Washington owner Mark Lerner said that the team was not going to be able to keep both Strasburg and Rendon. Indeed – in his own words – Lerner said they can really only afford to keep one of the two.
Now, the line has been drawn in the sand. The Nationals have hitched their wagons over the next seven years to Strasburg; leaving Rendon as the prize for the rest of baseball. Furthermore, Bill Plunkett of the OC Register traces over a few keys as to why Rendon heading to the Dodgers is starting to make a lot of sense.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) December 10, 2019
Primarily, Plunkett speaks to Dodgers’ president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman about a position change for Justin Turner. Remember – if Rendon comes aboard from Washington – Turner will need a new home on the infield. Already, Friedman admits to speaking to Turner about a position change in the event someone like Rendon is signed.
“Not surprisingly, JT’s mindset is – ‘Whatever puts us in the best position to win. Whatever, whenever, not surprising. “Just knowing him, knowing his work ethic, knowing all he’ll put into it, coupled with when you play as much as he does, when you get on base as much as he does, nagging things pop up and I think they can have an effect on guys on defense – I’ll bet on him to put in the work this winter and be in a really good spot going into next year.”
Then, Plunkett adds that Friedman says Turner is likely to play first base and not second if Rendon (or another third baseman) is signed. What this means is a fair degree of internal discussion has taken place within the organization between Friedman and a veteran like Turner.
Strasburg Deal Impacts Cole Deal, Which Impacts Rendon to Dodgers
Finally, Plunkett says the following on how Strasburg’s deal in-turn impacts Gerrit Cole’s upcoming deal. While it may seem like common sense, it will be a domino that needs to fall so the Dodgers can set out full speed ahead for their own tier-one superstar free agent. Of course, that player would be Rendon.
Strasburg’s deal sets a very high floor for the other top free-agent pitcher, right-hander Gerrit Cole. Strasburg and Cole are both represented by Scott Boras, who is reportedly aiming for an eight- to 10-year deal for Cole worth more than $300 million. The New York Yankees and Angels are expected to duke it out financially for Cole’s services with the Dodgers interested but likely not as motivated.
Indeed, this week should be compelling as the Dodgers look to stuff your stocking a little bit early this holiday season. Hopefully, the pursuit of Rendon happens in a quicker fashion than the Washington National that the Dodgers were in on until the last minute last season; Bryce Harper.