Re-signing Anthony Rendon
The Nats have long had big plans for Anthony Rendon, as they drafted him sixth overall in 2011. He has lived up to these expectations, racking up a .280/.358/.812 slash line in his first five big league seasons.
In addition to producing at the plate, Rendon has consistently played gold glove-caliber defense at the hot corner. He has yet to win the award, because of Nolan Arenado‘s defensive wizardry, but he has been named a finalist several times.
2017 was Rendon’s best season to date by far. In 147 games, he owned a slash line of .301/.403/.533 to go with his 25 homers, 100 RBI’s, and 41 doubles. He also led the National League in WAR, according to FanGraphs.
Unfortunately, Rendon’s time with the Nats may be coming to an end soon. While he is not in the huge free agent class of Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, and Gio Gonzalez in 2018, his contract expires after 2019.
Although Rendon may not be very well-known nationally, he is among the best players in the league. This will hold him back in terms of awards, but those who follow the Nats know how good he truly is.
Because of Rendon’s low profile, he may not command as much in his next contract as he deserves. He has also seemed to enjoy his time with the Nats, so he may give them a bit of a hometown discount in extension discussions.
Between Rendon’s MVP-caliber performance and his probable affordability, the Nats should undoubtedly re-sign him. He is still just 27 years old, so he may not have even reached his peak yet.
If the Nats were to re-sign Rendon, it would likely be in the range of seven years, $100-150 million. While this may seem like a lot, it is not bad for a player of Rendon’s caliber.
Signing Rendon to an extension is not urgent, since he still has two years under team control remaining, but they should absolutely work out a deal. He has also been improving each season, so if the Nats sign him now, he may end up being an even bigger bargain down the road.