2. Anthony Rendon signs a long-term extension.
Locking up star third basemen Anthony Rendon long-term should be the Washington Nationals number one priority. The 29-year-old is a virtual lock to make his first All-Star team this summer and is leading the Nationals in almost every offensive category.
Rendon comes into Saturday hitting for a line of .321/.415/.660 with 16 home runs, 50 runs batted in and 52 runs scored. The third basemen is fourth in all of baseball with a .660 slugging percentage and fifth in all of baseball with his.1.075 OPS. Rendon has clearly been one of the best players not just int he National League but in all of baseball, and likely will get some MVP consideration at years end.
Despite his outstanding play, Washington has not reached a long-term agreement with Rendon, and he is slated to be a free agent at the end of this season. For the second year in a row, the Nationals enter the middle of June with the future of the best position player on their roster uncertain.
Last year, Washington went through a similar scenario with now Philidelphia Phillie Bryce Harper. At the deadline, Washington ownership balked on a potential deal that would have sent Harper to the Houston Astros and wound up losing him in free agency and only gaining a fourth-round draft pick in return. For a player the caliber of Harper this wound up to be a huge mistake as the Nationals could have brought in a haul of talented prospects in return for him last season.
Washington cannot afford to go down this same road with Rendon, and losing your best position player in free agency two years in a row would be a bad look for the franchise. With Rendon’s MVP caliber season and his steady performance over the years, the Nationals should do everything they can to lock him up long-term before the end of this season.
With the Harper mistake in mind, Washington will feel the pressure and reach an extension with Rendon by the end of the regular season. My prediction is Rendon signs a seven-year and $210 million dollar extension by the end of August.