Per the report, the club dangled a seven-year offer in the range of $210MM to $215MM. While there were deferrals in the proposal, it would’ve functioned more like the Max Scherzer contract than the long-fuse offer the team made last year to Bryce Harper.
The offer was put on the table in early September, according to Svrluga, and it doesn’t seem as if it’s likely to be accepted. Rendon is now just weeks away from the open market and appears destined to reach it. He’ll do so armed with the knowledge that the Nats have intense interest in keeping him.
It’s not entirely clear whether the D.C. organization will keep this particular offer on the table once the offseason begins. Neither is it known whether the team is willing to go any higher if that’s needed. Regardless, it’s a nice starting point for Rendon, who has ramped up his already excellent play to higher-than-ever levels in 2019. He’s slated to reach free agency as the top available position player.
Depending upon where one looks for their contract numbers, the reported offer may sound light. After all, Rockies star third bagger Nolan Arenado just got a $260MM contract that spans eight years … sort of. In fact, that deal added seven years and $234MM beyond Arenado’s final season of arbitration eligibility. In reality, the Nats’ offer to Rendon is close to — but still clearly less than — the money the Rox gave to Arenado.
That Arenado contract (which also includes an opt-out) always spelled bad news for the D.C. organization’s efforts with Rendon, as it pushed a big new comp out at an inopportune time. Rendon is nearly a year older, lacks the history of consistent home run output, and isn’t as flashy a fielder or well-known a marketing piece. But for all his steady excellence, Arenado has never reached the offensive heights Rendon did in 2019 and hasn’t yet posted a 6.0 fWAR campaign. Rendon, meanwhile, has quietly reeled off three-straight seasons with that level of all-around value.
These ongoing talks only help to set the stage for what promises to be quite an interesting trip onto the open market for Rendon and super-agent Scott Boras. The universe of bidders isn’t yet known, but there’s little doubt multiple clubs will make serious pushes to draw Rendon from the Nats.