Nationals Rumors: Anthony Rendon hoping to sign a long-term deal

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 15: Anthony Rendon #6 of the Washington Nationals looks on against the New York Mets during their game at Citi Field on July 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 15: Anthony Rendon #6 of the Washington Nationals looks on against the New York Mets during their game at Citi Field on July 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Nats Winterfest provided plenty of Washington Nationals rumors this weekend. Now, it looks like Anthony Rendon wants to sign a long-term deal in D.C.

Nationals rumors have been the order of the day with the special Winterfest event being held at Nats Park. The latest of which is that Anthony Rendon has said he’s keen to sign an extension to stay with the Washington Nationals long-term.

Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post spoke to the veteran third baseman about an extension and he said that he’s “up for it.” Janes also then expanded saying that the two sides have been working on the deal for over a year and he hopes to stay in the nation’s capital.

General Manager Mike Rizzo also enforced that working out an extension is definitely something that the team is looking towards. The GM told Janes that “I think we should [sign Rendon to an extension]. And I think we have [tried to extend him]. And I think we will continue to do so. He’s a guy that we drafted, signed and developed and he’s one of our own. He’s a terrific player that nobody talks about.”

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During his six seasons with the Nationals, he’s slashed an impressive .285/.361/.469 with 102 home runs and 420 RBI. He also shines with the glove too, as he’s regularly a gold glove finalist at his position and has just one negative UZR season at third base, which happened to be his rookie year.

So while another homegrown Nats player is stealing all the headlines this offseason in Bryce Harper, the front office clearly hasn’t forgotten about its hot corner stalwart. Contributor Tom Berry recently argued that Rendon’s extension would actually be more important than Harper’s this offseason, and it’s a view shared by several Nationals fans.

The main argument for locking up Rendon is that he will cost a fair amount less per year than Harper, while also requiring fewer years, meaning less risk. The former Rice standout also plays a more premium position at third base instead of corner outfield and hasn’t quite been as streaky as Harper, even though Harper’s highest points eclipse Rendon’s highest points.

You’ll remember that in our FanSided mock offseason simulation, we ended up signing Rendon to an extension while Harper left for the Philadelphia Phillies. In that scenario, it took a six-year, $150 million deal to lock Rendon up long-term and that’s likely a realistic figure the team should be looking at this offseason.

One factor to remember in the negotiations is that the third baseman is repped by the notorious Scott Boras. While his favored strategy is usually to let his clients hit free agency, he does still work for the player, so if Rendon insists on staying in the nation’s capital then Boras will do his best to get a fair deal.

You don’t need to look much further than when he surprisingly agreed to an extension for Stephen Strasburg back in 2016. While that deal does have opt-outs that could be exercised as soon as next offseason, Strasburg was keen to stay with the Nats to further his career after a few injury-plagued seasons. Hopefully, Rendon will look to do the same with the team that drafted him.

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With Anthony Rendon and the Washington Nationals working hard to get a deal done this offseason, it does seem likely to happen at some point. However, it could end up being close to Spring Training once the team has an idea of how much space it has under the luxury tax threshold.