It’s rather uncommon to see significant, mid-season extensions. And it emerged recently that the Nationals have not made recent headway in their efforts to strike a deal with star third baseman Anthony Rendon. But that doesn’t mean Nationals president of baseball operations/GM Mike Rizzo is giving up hope of a deal that keeps the key veteran with the organization and off of the open market.
In an appearance on The Racing Presidents podcast, Rizzo made clear that the club is “not going to stop” trying to reach agreement until Rendon provides “a definitive decision” one way or another. There continues to be keen interest on both sides, Rizzo suggests, and he still believes “there’s a deal to be had.”
While the Nats’ top baseball decisionmaker understandably did not get into details, he did say that the team has “made very respectful, very market value offers.” Rendon’s true value in an extension scenario remains debatable. The recent deal between the Rockies and Nolan Arenado (seven years, $234MM) undoubtedly represents a key data point for both sides to consider. No doubt the Nats would also point Rendon’s agent, Scott Boras, to the much more modest deal he negotiated with the Red Sox for Xander Bogaerts. That these and other significant players elected to forego free agency is also a factor in projecting what Rendon might take down on the open market, where he’ll stand out as one of few premium players.
It’s obviously going to be harder now to convince Rendon not to test the open market. He has finally been tabbed for an All-Star game after an exceptional start to the year; no doubt his prominence will rise yet further as less attentive observers realize that the game’s quietest star is nearing free agency.
“It all comes down to what makes it work and what entices him to sign with the Nationals and not go through the free agent process,” said Rizzo. “And it’s gotta make sense for us also.”
Whether the sides can arrive at a number that suits both remains to be seen. But it doesn’t seem the Nationals have wavered in their desire to add another big salary to the books. The club has been on a tear of late, bouncing back from a messy start to climb back to within six games of the division pace. And the team’s core — Rendon aside — remains under contract for the foreseeable future.
By all indications, Rizzo is preparing to act as a buyer this summer. But if the club again ends up in a bit of a gray area, he won’t have as much flexibility to change course in August. Asked about how the new trade deadline rules will impact the market, Rizzo says he expects it will “keep more teams in the mix” and produce “more activity before the [July] 31st deadline.” Though he says it won’t much impact the Nats — “when we see opportunities we usually jump on them and take them” — Rizzo does note that the changed rules only “give you one bite at the apple.”
Please pay this man. He means more to this organization than Harper ever did.
This has the bats making the same mistake they did with Harper last year written all over it
The bats need a new GM, Rizzo isn’t working
Incorrect. Harper wasn’t a mistake.
The folly/shame of FA timing with age. Excellent player, but you got his great years at a bargain. Within a few, fans likely to be relieved their team isn’t on the hook for several years post-prime at 30mil per that prevents other moves. This will apply to other huge ticket stars like Betts, etc.
Translation; Rendon isn’t coming back next year as a Nat. This is theater so Rizzo can say that the FO/ownership did “everything they could” to retain him.
Rizzo doesn’t control the budget. This is the Lerners. I’m sure Rizzo would hand Boras a blank check if he could. So at this point it is obvious that Rendon won’t sign in DC. The only question on the table is whether the Nats will trade him this season or not. They are in the middle of a push and if the Phils can do work this week against the Braves, and the Nats keep pace, then the whole division is up in the air again.
The Nats aren’t a big market club. They don’t have a big market fanbase. They aren’t able to keep the big market players. And they certainly don’t have a big market GM. If they lose Rendon, Rizzo should be gone.
They are a big market team.
Yeah, it’s a little bizzare that folks here are calling for Rizzo’s job. Yes, the team hasn’t won in the postseason, but it’s not for lack of talent on the roster.
Seems like an ideal time to trade him and perhaps find a replacement for cheap.
The issue is how close the Nationals are to a potential playoff spot right now. They could move Rendon, but I’m not sure they’d be keen on an internal candidate like AAAA Brandon Snyder taking Rendon’s spot on the roster.
I think the Nationals should absolutely move Rendon if they can get a haul, regardless of whether they think there’s a good chance they could sign him. The Nationals are up against the payroll ceiling and need to restructure some things in order to remain viable.
Do the Nats have the money to keep someone like Rendon without a deferred contract?
The Nats are paying Zim and Rendon $36M combined this year. Plus $19M on Dozier, Kendrick and Adams. Even if they spend $30M on Rendon, that gives them $25M to get a 1b, 2b, and two bench bats. If Carter Kieboom is one of those players, it shouldn’t be hard to make it work.
When the Nationals decline the club options on Zimmerman, Adams and Gomes, they’ll still have:
9 players, $100 million on the books
Another $8M in arbitration for Trea Turner and assuming they non-tender Doolittle.
10 players, $108M on the books.
7 additional guys under team control adds $4M
17 players, $112M on the books..
Rendon will add $33M or so.
18 players, $145M on the books.
The need will be:
More or less, the Nationals will have $60M to spend if they want to stay under the threshold, but that money will dry up pretty quickly if they try to upgrade anywhere.
Matt Adams is a dirty little secret that I could see playing full time against righties.
$33M AAV is the very top of what Rendon would command, and as the earlier poster commented 2B can almost be chalked in as Keiboom right now. And why is RF on the list? Eaton’s between serviceable and decent and his option years are stupid cheap. So a (only slightly) rosier view would be $60M to plug 1B and then pitching and that’s if Rendon is $33M AAV
You’re dreaming if you think $33M/yr is the highest value Rendon might command on a 6yr contract (which is as short as could be believed). If Rendon accepted a 6yr deal, my guess is at least $35M AAV.
Rendon is arguably the best 3B in baseball. He’s not going to get the 10 year contract Bryce Harper and Manny Machado signed, but above the AAV of Arenado’s non-free agent extension? Abso-fricken-lutely if he’s not going for max years.
I’m guessing 7-8yrs at $250M-ish when all is said and done.
The Nationals might keep Eaton. He’ll be 31 and has been “playable” but without ANY upside at $10M / yr and he’s not getting younger.
Keiboom owns a .128/.209/.282 triple slash right now with a near 40% K rate. It’s a really SSS, but assuming he’s going to be the starter at 2B for a team with playoff hopes is pretty ballsy right now.
Also, if you’re keeping Eaton, that means you’ve got $50M for 4 relief pitchers and a 2B unless Keiboom performs dramatically better. Could happen.
It certainly can be done, but, again, if the Nationals want to significantly upgrade anywhere, the money will start drying up.
My Crystal Ball sees better than your Bal
((or was that my dog is better than your dog)
$50M for 4 relievers and a safety blanket at 2B? Yes please. Dozier and Kendrick are both signed for less than $10M this year. A similar contract would leave $10M per reliever which is getting you top of the line setup guys, basically anyone short of a bona fide closer.
And yea a crazy small sample size to judge Keiboom by. He’s also 7th in the PCL by OPS…but sure you can call it “ballsy” to expect him in the show regularly next year.
And while even I don’t agree with this, the general consensus (for whatever its worth) is that Rendon isn’t surpassing Arenado’s contract, which is 8/260 and why I said that’s the top end for Rendon.
Would rather he walk than the Nats end up paying him 35M at age 36. If he wont take 5/150M, see ya.
Here’s a hint. No way in HELL Rendon is taking 5/150. Arenado just signed at 8yrs $260M and is only 1 year younger and he wasn’t even a free agent!
Let him walk. He isn’t worth it. Whoever signs him will end up having a very expensive no power first baseman on the back end of the contract. No thanks.
If you’re letting him “walk” you trade him for plus value in the current year. The Nationals can do some wheeling and dealing.
Quit the BS. There is only one thing you cannot do, and that is blow it, like you did last year with Harper. You extend Rendon in the next few weeks, or you trade him and get something in return.
Since I believe Boras will force Rendon to go the FA route, I’d say it’s time to trade him. Get a serviceable vet at 3B in the deal, along with pitching prospects.
Even if you could squeak into the playoffs, you’re no match for the Cubs, Brewers or Dodgers. Think long term. If Rendon walks at the end of the season, and all you get is a draft pick, you should be fired.
” There is only one thing you cannot do, and that is blow it, like you did last year with Harper….”
RIzzo blew nothing with Haprer, He made a good faith market offer at the end of the season and remained open to negotiating till Haper signed. As for Tony Dirt, Two bags or 4Bags (which ever you prefer), he will deo what’s best for Tony. I like you would love him to stay in DC but not at the expense of the rest of the roster.
I do agree that rendon is more important to this team then Bryce was last off season and I think you will see that play out in the negotiations. But for now just enjoy fourth of July baseball and don’t get caught up in what you can’t control.
Let’s Go Nats!
Rizzo blew it by not trading Harper to the Astros. There was almost no chance they could re-sign Harper at the end of the season, and he wasn’t worth the money it would take anyway.
His job was to make sure he got value for Harper, and all he got was a draft pick that he subsequently gave away to sign Corbin.
Rizzo absolutely should have traded Harper. If he can’t extend Rendon, without overpaying, then he must trade him. That’s GM 101 stuff.
Happy 4th to you D!!
Rizzo had the Harper trade with the Astros all lined up before the Lerners intervened and vetoed. Should he have ignored their veto and traded him anyway? Do you think that would have been a better way to keep his job?
Se I disagree for two reasons. In borh seasons. & both players. The thing you are not mentioning is will the Nats be in the post season if they trade those players. In the what have you done for me lately sports fan world the case for keeping a player is as strong fro getting what you can now. This same push pul of buy and sell is what the front office is going through right now. But in the case of selling the Nats are going to need mre developed prsects than in previous years because of the state of the farm.
In addition holding a player through the deadline gives you a little more chance than you might have had to sign him by showing commitment. In short it is not always as cut and dry as us fans like to view it as. there are a lot of moving parts involved..
Hope you had a Bueno 4th papa good to read you and debate again…
The Cubs they are going to finish behind the Reds. As for the Nats not one person has over the last 2-3 years gotten anything right about the Nats will do or what they are going to do. As a Nats fan I will say that Rendon will stay in DC getting a very good contract with at least 7 years and yes he will take deferred money.
The CXentral is almost as wide open as the East is.. This is the year of Parity in baseball