The Braves have been one of the winter’s most aggressive teams. With Josh Donaldson also on the open market, it would make sense for Alex Anthopoulos to weigh a run at Rendon — who is younger than Donaldson and also more durable. There’s some thought within the league that the Braves would be willing to enter the season with Johan Camargo and Austin Riley sharing responsibilities at the hot corner. We’ll believe it when we see it.
It’s possible the Angels still land Cole. But, if they come up empty, it would make sense for them to consider a run at Rendon. Who knows how likely any of that is at this point.
On Monday, the Washington Nationals agreed to terms with World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg on a . (The deal reportedly includes substantive deferrals.) A fair question to ask in response is: what does this mean for Anthony Rendon?
The Rangers were expected to have a busy winter ahead of opening their new ballpark next spring. So far, that has proved to be the case. The Rangers have already signed starters Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles to shore up their rotation, and are likely to remain aggressive the rest of the way. Rendon is from Texas, but more importantly, Jon Daniels has the means to make the largest offer. Daniels also has the need, with Rendon representing the rare free agent who could significantly improve the lineup and defense.
So, where might Rendon end up? Allow us to reset his market by highlighting the five likeliest landing spots.
That’s a big deal in the scope of the league and this offseason. Rendon entered the winter ranked by us as the best free agent on the market. Here was our explanation:
Rendon has a lot working in his favor. He’s a quality third baseman who can bat in the middle of the order thanks to his above-average power, his feel for contact (he seldom swings and misses), and his excellent eye. The biggest knock against him concerns his durability (though he’s averaged 143 games over the last three seasons). Otherwise? There have been murmurs that Rendon’s aloofness could be viewed as a negative by some teams, but c’mon — read the second sentence again and then try to fake apprehension about his laid back personality. That Rendon might pursue a shorter-term deal (he joked during the playoffs that he’d prefer to not be playing ball when he’s 36) makes it more likely that he nets the highest AAV of any free agent.
If the Dodgers are serious about landing impact-level talent this winter, then their interest in Rendon makes sense. Obviously the Dodgers might prefer instead to land Gerrit Cole since he has a clearer fit on the roster, but introducing Rendon would permit Andrew Friedman and Dave Roberts to get creative with their infield. The Dodgers could slide Justin Turner to second base, Max Muncy to first and employ Cody Bellinger as an everyday outfielder; they could trade Corey Seager and insert Gavin Lux at shortstop; or they could do a number of other things that, no matter what, would give them a deep, versatile roster.
The Phillies signed one former Nationals staple last winter; why not do it again this winter? Philadelphia does have an opening at third base, and have shown a willingness to spend big. Rendon would be a logical target for Matt Klentak presuming the Phillies aren’t serious about a run at Cole.