MLB Free Agency Rumors: Dodgers Have ‘Coveted’ Nationals’ Anthony Rendon, Could Move Justin Turner To First Base In 2020

The Los Angeles Dodgers have an embarrassment of riches among position players. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has made a habit of stockpiling quality depth across his roster, and that approach has powered two straight runs to the World Series.

The wealth of talent also requires Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to juggle playing time across several positions. It’s a dilemma that manifests itself in ways like Joc Pederson playing first base, Max Muncy at second base, and Kiké Hernandez and Chris Taylor moving all over the diamond.

It has also allowed Friedman to approach free agency with fewer roster needs and provide ample time for acquisitions like A.J. Pollock to get himself healthy after an elbow infection sidelined him for most of the first half.

With so much depth across the roster, and virtually every major position player under team control for at least one more year, it would make sense to expect the Dodgers to stand pat in the position player free agency market this winter.

Besides, a bigger priority would seem to be either re-signing Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill or filling those spots in the starting rotation.

But the Dodgers appear to have some interest in one of the position players expected to reach the market, Anthony Rendon of the Washington Nationals, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:

The Dodgers long have coveted Rendon (which team hasn’t?) and could move Justin Turner to first in the final year of his contract.

The Dodgers’ reported interest in Rendon and early willingness to move Justin Turner across the diamond was also corroborated by ESPN’s Buster Olney.

As it stands, the Dodgers already have five players who have spent time at first base in 2019 –and none of them are Turner.

Of those five, only David Freese is not under contract for next season. Pederson, Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Matt Beaty will all return unless traded, and that group contains the two Dodgers position players who made the 2019 All-Star Game.

Bellinger played right field for most of the season and fared spectacularly well there before being moved to first base and now center field. Muncy has improved his defense at second base, though is considered more a regular first baseman.

But a reconfiguration that moves Turner to first to make room for Rendon might result in least one of Pederson, Taylor, Hernandez or Beaty on the trading block. Rendon may be worth the reshuffling, though.

He quietly has become an elite hitter in the shadow of now-former Nationals teammate Bryce Harper. Rendon finally reached his first All-Star Game in 2019, but decided to rest his body during the break, which paved way for Muncy to join the National League roster as an alternate.

Still, Rendon is one of the best third basemen in the Major Leagues. This year he has a career-best .331/.414/.625 batting line to go along with 43 doubles, 33 home runs and 118 RBI.