After snubbing the All-Star game this week to nurse his leg injuries, Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon and the organization are openly talking about an extension once again according to Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports.
Rendon’s agent, Scott Boras, was at Nationals Park during Saturday’s Expos throwback game which is an indication of how serious the current state of extension talks are; something Boras never did with Bryce Harper last season.
The two sides have talked about an extension since the beginning of spring training and was one of the only pending free agents involved in extension talks that didn’t receive a new deal.
“I’m not going to be the one going out and trying to pursue it,” Rendon told The Washington Post last Tuesday. “At this point, if they present something and both sides are happy, then cool. If not and it doesn’t happen, then no hard feelings.”
Rendon is likely seeking a deal like Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado who received a seven-year, $234 million deal during spring training.
Rendon doesn’t have as many accolades as Arenado does who has been named an All-Star five times and has won six gold gloves. What Rendon has is seven years of consistent production since his debut in 2013 where’s he’s had a career slash line of .286/.363/.482 with 122 homers and leads all major league third baseman in fWAR since last season.
Rendon currently has the upper hand in negotiations as his production on the field has not slowed. He’s currently hitting .304/.388/.612 with 20 homers in 320 PA. Rendon was finally selected to his first All-Star team but is unable to participate because of injury concerns.
After losing homegrown superstar Bryce Harper in the off-season, the Nationals organization would look weak if they let another one of their superstars slip away in back-to-back offseasons. Not to mention the backlash they would receive from fans if they let Rendon walk.
“We’ve had discussions throughout the year, and we’ve traded proposals back and forth; we haven’t had a deal yet,” Rizzo told The Washington Post during the Nationals last road trip to Miami. “We certainly would embrace if we can get a deal done. We certainly continue to talk, and we’ll see where it leads us down the road.”
Rendon has expressed willingness to stay in Washington since spring training. It’s up to the Lerners and Mike Rizzo to get the deal done.