3B Anthony Rendon reaches $12.3 million, 1-yr deal with Nats
WASHINGTON (AP) Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon more than doubled his salary going into 2018, reaching agreement on a $12.3 million contract Friday to avoid salary arbitration.
Rendon made $5.8 million last season, his first year of arbitration eligibility. He finished sixth in NL MVP voting last season and ranked seventh in WAR among the league's position players, helping carry an injury-depleted Washington team to a second consecutive NL East title by batting .301 with 25 homers, 100 RBIs, 41 doubles, a .403 on-base percentage and .533 slugging percentage.
At third base, he made seven errors and had a .979 fielding percentage. Asked at the Nationals' fan festival in December whether he would be open to staying with the team for the long term under a multiyear contract, he replied: "Yeah, for sure. Why not stay with one organization?"
As for whether he expects his agents, Scott Boras and Co., to negotiate this offseason with the Nationals about a long-term contract, Rendon joked: "Maybe. I don't know. That's up to them. That's why I hired them. I dropped out of school."
Also Friday, outfielder Michael Taylor received a hefty increase from $557,900 to $2,525,000. He batted .271 with 19 homers, 53 RBIs and 17 steals, but also 137 strikeouts and only 29 walks in 118 games as a part-time starter. He had a breakthrough NL Division Series against the Chicago Cubs, hitting .333 with two homers - including a grand slam - and eight RBIs.
Right-hander Tanner Roark avoided arbitration as well with a $6,475,000, one-year deal, an increase from $4,315,000.
Roark went 13-11 with a 4.67 ERA in 181 1/3 innings as Washington's No. 4 starter in a rotation that featured Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez.
He didn't pitch in the postseason. Slated to start in Game 4 of the NL Division Series against the Cubs in place of an ill Strasburg, that game was rescheduled because of rain and Strasburg was able to make the start. Gonzalez was chosen instead of Roark for Game 5.
Roark acknowledged at the team's fan festival last month that he "was not happy."
"It was pretty emotional for me, just going back and forth, not knowing," he said. "I was ready to go, I remember that morning, to pitch, and people were on the TV talking that I wasn't good enough or something. ... I was going to use that as motivation. But then I got to the field and it just didn't work out that way."
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Updated January 12, 2018