SAN DIEGO — In an unscientific poll of those I believe have a feel for the third base market, the Rangers were viewed as at least a slight frontrunner for Anthony Rendon with the Braves, Dodgers, Nationals and Phillies all looking at the hot corner too.
One executive involved in this market thought if bids were similar, Rendon, raised in Houston, would gravitate to his home state, where the Rangers are motivated to add a star for Year 1 in a new stadium in 2020. Plus, the lack of a state income tax means a contract is worth considerably more in Texas.
But the Dodgers could feel the pressure to exert themselves financially. They want to impact the top of their roster and there is a growing belief that if a Southern California team flexes financially to challenge the Yankees for Gerrit Cole, it will more likely be the pitching-desperate Angels.
Thus, the Dodgers would be focused more on Rendon, with the idea of moving Justin Turner across the diamond to first base.
Nationals owner Ted Lerner said last week that the defending champs cannot afford both Rendon and fellow free agent and Scott Boras client Stephen Strasburg. The sense is that Washington has always felt better…