Anthony Rendon said today that he isn’t putting any deadlines on extension talks with the Nationals, as Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com was among those to report.
Emphasizing that he’s the boss in his relationship with agent Scott Boras, Rendon said he’s ready to listen to offers at any time of the year. He doesn’t expect contract talks to become a distraction if they drag into the season, but says that “if it does become an issue, then I’ll address it.”
Surely the preference on all sides would be to wrap something up during camp, but it seems there’s still a gulf to be bridged in terms of price. Rendon has, not unjustifiably, staked out a high asking price. He declined to get into details, telling reporters he’d rather leave them guessing, but did acknowledge ongoing chatter. Said Rendon: “if both parties can be happy, then we’ll see.”
Rendon’s stance, then, generally echoes that of fellow star third baseman Nolan Arenado, who is exploring the possibility of a long-term deal with the Rockies. It’s interesting to wonder whether those parallel extension negotiations could influence one another, both because the players are similarly valuable on the field and because the presence or absence of one on next winter’s market could significantly impact the earning outlook for the other.
These players have surely taken note of Manny Machado’s recent payday in considering their own possible free agent futures. Of course, both Rendon and Arenado are on track to enter the market at significantly older (but still youthful) ages, but each has an argument to command an average salary in the range of Machado’s $30MM. We examined Rendon’s extension case at the outset of the offseason.