Third baseman Anthony Rendon is still engaging in extension talks with the Nationals, per Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com. Zuckerman explains that it’s been an ongoing discussion since spring training, and recent activity involving agent Scott Boras could indicate that the two sides are inching closer to an agreement.
Rendon, 29, is in his seventh year with the club. He was elected to the National League All-Star team — a distinction never-before received in his major-league career — after batting .304/.388/.612 with 20 home runs, a 1.000 OPS, and 3.3 fWAR across his first 74 games of the 2019 season. In the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, he suffered left hamstring and quad injuries that will preclude him from participating in the event, leaving the Dodgers’ Max Muncy in his place.
While it’s not yet clear what kind of arrangement Rendon might strike with the Nationals, he’s provided significant value to the organization since his rookie season in 2013. Over the past seven seasons, he’s contributed to three postseason runs, placed among the top 15 NL MVP nominees three times, and amassed a lifetime batting line of .286/.363/.482 with 122 home runs, 480 RBI, and 29 fWAR.
Counter to Zuckerman’s report, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post said earlier this week that Rendon and Boras may not be close to bridging the divide, as they’re likely still intent on seeking something in the neighborhood of the eight-year, $260 million deal obtained by Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado last winter. It’s not yet certain whether the Nationals agree with that valuation remains, but Dougherty points out that it would be unusual to see the infielder agree to a formal extension without having first tested the market in free agency — a threshold he’s scheduled to reach this fall.