Nationals Rumors: Anthony Rendon seeking extension over $160 million
By Blake Finney
With lots of Washington Nationals rumors centered around Bryce Harper, it’s easy to forget Anthony Rendon. He’s rumored to be looking for over $160 million.
The Washington Nationals pursuit of Bryce Harper is rightly taking up several headlines this offseason. But there are other Nationals rumors, and one in particular around one of the other potent bats in their lineup, Anthony Rendon, is noteworthy.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic touched on the third baseman’s possible contract demands in his latest piece. Rosenthal says “Rendon, who turns 29 on June 6, is seeking a deal comparable to the seven-year, $163.5 million contract the Astros awarded second baseman José Altuve before the 2018 season, sources say.”
That mentioned figure would result in its annual average value of close to $23.4 million, which is the number that counts against the luxury tax. That number is also a touch higher than what the Atlanta Braves paid for Josh Donaldson on a one-year, $23 million deal earlier this offseason.
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Unlike the rumored demands of Harper, this potential valuation of Rendon seems to be right around market value given his skill set, age, and position. So with the deadline to exchange arbitration figures looming, extension talks could very easily heat up in the near future.
The one question mark might be the number of years as a seven-year pact would take him through to 35 or 36 years old, depending on when the contract is signed. However, with his approach at the plate and a relaxed style of play that should lend itself to a long career, it’s not a huge concern.
The more immediate implication of a possible extension is how it could affect the team’s luxury tax situation. MLBTradeRumors currently projects Anthony Rendon to make $17.6 million, about $6 million less than the reported extension figure that he appears to be seeking.
We’ve previously looked at a possible way that the team could extend Rendon while also bringing Harper back. But perhaps the one move that could allow the team to extend its third baseman regardless of Harper would be to restructure Ryan Zimmerman‘s contract.
Again, it’s another idea we’ve investigated previously given Zimmerman is currently accounting for $16.7 million AAV. Say the Nats were to get him down to about $10 million annually, that could easily make up the difference between arbitration and extension for Rendon and lock up the hot corner for the foreseeable future.
Many would argue that Anthony Rendon is the most important player the Washington Nationals need to lock up this offseason. If the latest Nationals rumors are to be believed, then there could definitely be a fair figure the two sides can agree on.