If Harper does not resign with the Nationals, I would have to think the Nationals would be interested in committing to Rendon. For the same reasons he would be appealing to the Cardinals.
Nolan is not a possibility until the Rockies make it clear they want to move him or until he hits free agency. If the Cardinals committed a multi-year contract to a third baseman before then, that could decrease the appeal of Nolan, sure.
I would be excited for the story. He is, to me, the most interesting player in this free-agent class. Huge success not very long ago. Big red flags at the moment. But he did hit the ball hard and look good in his smallest of sample sizes upon his return. If he crushes it with his new team, how many teams will kick themselves? If he can't stay healthy, how many teams will feel lucky they said no thanks? He's really interesting. If he's a 32-year-old somewhere in between those two extremes, I'm not sure if he's the upgrade -- on his own -- that this lineup needs. And I worry a little bit about his defense. The reviews of that are all over the board.
Carpenter's best defensive position is 1B but he was better at third last season than people give him credit for. Honest. He had a few soft throws. He also made quite a few sound plays.
Moving on from Allen does not sound like a bad idea to me at this point, but I'm not sure I would want to do it for a guy with injury issues. I'd rather take an unknown than a guy with injury concerns. That said, I'm not sure there would be teams lining up to take on Allen at the moment. He's got baggage, and it's not exactly shrinking.
This has not changed. The same thing happened in the end-of-season press conference, when everyone screamed about Mozeliak committing to Fowler when he didn't, really. He said he hopes Fowler is healthy and was glad that he's been cleared for more baseball activities. He also said he has a long way to go. He's said, at various times, that Fowler has a future here. And he's said he hopes he has a season like 2017 instead of 2018. Nowhere has he said, look, it's guaranteed the guy is a our right field starter for 2019. And nowhere has he said he's against that. He's leaving his options open at one of the few places on the roster that could be optimized. Smart. People see what they want to see when Mozeliak talks about right field. To be clear: He's leaving his options open when he talks about it.
I don't have unique insight there. Just what I read. But it seems to me they have played this perfectly. Try for an extension. Make it known you want him back. Express a willingness to revisit, but not a willingness to wait at the altar. Have to think the Nats would get a chance to counter whatever the best offer is before it's said and done. They have many, many clients with Boras. There's a good relationship there that is mutually beneficial to both parties to keep things as warm and fuzzy as possible.
I look at more than WAR when it comes to forming an opinion of a player. Sue me.
In the past four seasons, he has slugged .543 while averaging 32 homers and 93 RBIs. Averaged. Over four seasons. And he just turned 26. I care a lot more about him being on the cusp of his career best and what he did entering that stretch than what he did when he was 19-21 playing in the majors while most of his peers were in the minors.
OK friends, gotta run. Thank you for stopping by and thank you for sticking with us through the early delay. If I didn't get to your question, I'll be back next Tuesday. Or find me on Twitter @Ben_Fred. Talk soon.