The Los Angeles Angels have agreed a deal with Anthony Rendon. The All-Star third baseman will receive $245 million over seven years, the same contract as his former Washington Nationals teammate Stephen Strasburg. Jon Heyman first reported the news.
As covered by Andrew Simon, only two position players have passed 6 fWAR in each of the last three seasons. Those two players are Rendon and his new teammate, Mike Trout. In the shadow of Bryce Harper, Rendon has been underrated in recent seasons, and the ascension of Juan Soto has played a part. The obscene depth at third base has meant he’s not been the runaway best at his position. Make no mistake, though, he’s an elite, MVP candidate level hitter and a pretty good defender too.
Even in free agency, Rendon has been somewhat overshadowed by Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg. His contract was always going to be massive, his impact every bit as enormous. This is the sort of signing that changes the direction of a franchise. It is the fellow superstar Trout has craved.
What doesn’t change with this deal, however, is the Angels’ dire need for a new arm. Dylan Bundy was a nice signing, but he’s not enough. Their rotation was among the worst in baseball last season. Cole and Strasburg are off the board – Madison Bumgarner, Hyun-Jin Ryu still remain and several top starters could be available on the trade market.
Rendon arriving is exciting. It makes the Angels into a genuine playoff team. Adding a starter is the next box to tick, then they can start considering a deep postseason run. The 2020 season might finally see Trout playing for a contender.