WASHINGTON -- The Nationals avoided arbitration on Friday with third baseman Anthony Rendon and shortstop Trea Turner as they agreed to terms with all but two of their five eligible players. The club was not able to reach an agreement with either reliever Kyle Barraclough or outfielder Michael A. Taylor, who may now go to a hearing, a source told to MLB.com.
Rendon, who is in his final year of arbitration eligibility and can become a free agent after the 2019 season, will reportedly earn $18.8 million next season, according to USA Today. The Nats reached their reported $3.725 million contract with Turner earlier Friday afternoon. Although they could not reach a deal with either Taylor or Barraclough on Friday, they are expected to continue negotiations ahead of February hearings.
Typically, the Nats try to settle all of their arbitration contracts and have not been to a hearing since 2015, with reliever Jerry Blevins. They ended up trading Blevins to the Mets before that season began.
Rendon is coming off another reliably stellar year in 2018, posting a slash line at .308/.374/.535 with 6.3 Wins Above Replacement, per FanGraphs, to earn some down ballot support in the voting for the National League Most Valuable Player award; he finished 11th.
Rendon's case was perhaps most notable for Washington as he and the club continue to engage in negotiations to lock him into a long-term extension as they have several times during the past year. Nats general manager Mike Rizzo said the team has extended an offer in the past, and at the Winter Meetings, he said Washington expected to continue to do so. Meanwhile, Rendon has stated repeatedly he would be open to signing an extension with the Nationals. The two sides have still yet to find common ground, but can continue to negotiate a contract of any size after Friday.
Complicating matters for now is the Nationals' pursuit of Bryce Harper. Until Washington knows exactly what Harper's future holds and whether the club might be signing him to a record-breaking contract, it's difficult to see how it would finalize an extension with Rendon.
Turner was in his first year of being arbitration-eligible after qualifying for Super Two status by just two service days, which granted him a fourth year of arbitration eligibility. In 2019, he played in all 162 games and was worth 4.8 Wins Above Replacement, earning him the pay bump.
Before Friday, the Nationals reached an agreement with Joe Ross, the club's projected fifth starter coming off Tommy John surgery, to pay him $1 million next season and settled with left-hander Sammy Solis earlier this offseason to pay him $850,000 for the upcoming season.
Taylor, whose production took a step back in 2018, is in his second year of eligibility. He posted a meager .644 OPS last season and lost playing down the stretch. This marks Barraclough's first year of eligibility after the Nats acquired him from the Marlins this offseason. He posted a 4.20 ERA the year prior in Miami with 10 saves in 61 games.