Let’s set the scene. 
“Well, when you look at those comments, and then you look at the structure of this particular deal and the structure of deals we’ve had getting up to where we are right now, I think that Mark realizes that there’s ways to fit players in, there’s ways that you can field a championship-caliber roster — and, again, the resources have always been there, so I don’t expect that to change,” Rizzo said. For whatever it’s worth, manager Dave Martinez in his media session said he’s hopeful of getting Rendon back. 
First off, Rizzo acted surprised when he was told of Lerner’s comments. “He did?” he asked when he was told Lerner said they couldn’t afford both. Then he said this: 
“Hopefully he’s the next piece,” Martinez said after noting that he did believe it was possible. “Do I want all our guys back? Absolutely. Is it gonna happen? I don’t know.” 
Probably the biggest takeaway there isn’t that Strasburg wanted to do a deal that would allow the Nationals to continue to pour resources into the team — though that’s a big part of it — it’s both Rizzo and Boras seeming to signal that perhaps Lerner didn’t have all the information when he spoke about not being able to afford both the World Series MVP and MVP-contending third baseman.
At the very least, we’ve moved into “you’re telling me there’s a chance” territory. 

  • “Stephen also made sure that he wanted to do something in this contract that allowed the team to sign the best players and to have the best teams, and he did that.”
  • “[Stephen] spoke throughout the process about his teammates and what it meant to play with them and making sure that — I think when you go to do these contracts, in fairness to Mark and everyone else, is you really don’t know what can be done inside a contract to create opportunities so that aspects of the team can be looked at a little differently than was even anticipated. And Stephen had that in mind when he directed me to negotiate and create a value, a fair market value for him, but also a structure that allowed the team to continue at a championship level.”
  • “Obviously, there’s measures in this contract that allow for the club to extend the payouts a few extra years in the contract that allows the immediacy of their payroll in the current year is where it has more flexibility.”

If you are a Nationals fan and want to squint this way, have at it: Lerner didn’t know there was going to be deferred money in the Strasburg deal and it’s possible they could defer money in a Rendon deal, so the calculus here has changed. 
Interesting, huh? Let’s latch onto the part where he mentions the structure of the deal. Remember, Max Scherzer’s contract had a million signing bonus that is paid out over 14 years.  
But then there was the press conference. 
Of note was that there is a reported million in deferred payments on the Strasburg deal. That’s the largest in MLB history and a huge number. Why this much deferred? Well, take note of some of Boras’ comments.  SAN DIEGO – Though it was a press conference to announce the Stephen Strasburg inking a record-breaking contract with the Nationals, there was much discussion between the media, Nationals president Mike Rizzo and agent Scott Boras regarding free agent Anthony Rendon. Once Strasburg re-signed with the reigning World Series champs to a seven-year, 5 million contract, it seemed unlikely Rendon would also rejoin the fold in Washington.
Do I believe that? I’m not sure. After all, it behooves both Rizzo, Martinez and Boras to make other teams believe the Nationals are in on the Rendon sweepstakes. My hunch is it’s still far-fetched that Rendon returns, but the chances are higher than they were Monday morning.