Third baseman Anthony Rendon has agreed to a seven-year, $245 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Wednesday.
The deal includes a full no-trade clause and doesn’t contain an opt-out clause, sources said. He is tentatively scheduled to undergo his physical Friday and be introduced at Angel Stadium on Saturday.
Having fallen short in their bid to sign ace right-hander Gerrit Cole, the Angels wasted little time in turning their sights toward Rendon.
The 29-year-old joins a lineup featuring Mike Trout, the three-time American League MVP who has reached the postseason just once. Owner Arte Moreno has made it a priority to surround Trout with more talent this offseason, and Rendon is a big piece of the puzzle.
“We’re within some structure of a budget and a payroll forecast that you relatively want to be near, and then we just take those opportunities to Arte and see if he’ll grant us the permission to do those things,” Angels general manager Billy Eppler had said earlier Wednesday, before the Rendon agreement. “There’s good players out there and players that warrant some sizable contracts. I know the players that he likes.”
The Angels set their sights on Rendon immediately after Cole joined the New York Yankees on Tuesday night and had made significant progress on a deal by late Wednesday morning, sources told ESPN. Prior to the agreement, the Angels were roughly $70 million below the 2020 luxury-tax threshold. With room remaining in their budget, they could look to sign free-agent starting pitchers such as Hyun-Jin Ryu or Madison Bumgarner to help fill what remains a dire need at the top of their rotation, according to sources. They’re also interested in a trade with the Cleveland Indians for Corey Kluber, sources said.
Trout signed a deal worth $35.5 million per year through the 2030 season in March, and Rendon’s deal has an average annual value of $35 million, giving the Angels the second- and third-highest salaries behind that of Cole, whose deal with the Yankees is worth $36 million annually. Along with Albert Pujols (10-year, $254 million deal in 2011), the Angels are the first team to sign three different players to $200 million deals.
The Angels’ third basemen ranked last in RBIs and OPS last season and were 25th in on-base percentage. Rendon ranked first in RBIs, sixth in OPS and fourth in on-base percentage.
Alden Gonzalez explains how the Angels agreed on a deal with Anthony Rendon and what he brings to their team.
Rendon was widely considered the top offensive free agent after he had a career season with the Washington Nationals in which he emerged as a candidate for the National League MVP.
He led the majors with a career-best 126 RBIs last season and was named to his first All-Star Game. Rendon also had career highs in batting average (.319), slugging percentage (.598) and home runs (34). His success at the plate carried into the postseason, in which he hit .328 with three home runs and 15 RBIs in 17 games, coming up with several timely hits to help Washington clinch the first World Series title in franchise history in his hometown of Houston.
Rendon hit home runs in Games 6 and 7 of the World Series, becoming the fifth player to homer in both those games of a World Series. He also became one of five players to homer in multiple winner-take-all games in a postseason, joining teammate Howie Kendrick.
He played 2019 with the Nationals on a one-year, $18.8 million deal. The Washington Post reported in September that the Nationals offered Rendon a seven-year deal worth $210 million to $215 million earlier that month, but the offer failed to keep him from exploring his value on the free-agent market.
News of Rendon’s agreement elicited differing responses on Twitter from future teammate Trout and former teammate Trea Turner.
— Mike Trout (@MikeTrout) December 12, 2019
— Trea Turner (@treavturner) December 12, 2019
The sixth overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Nationals, Rendon reached the majors in 2013 and emerged as a potential All-Star in 2014. He finished fifth in NL MVP voting that season after hitting .287 with 83 RBIs, 21 homers, 17 stolen bases and 111 runs. His momentum slowed in 2015 after he missed the first 53 games of the season due to a sprained MCL. Since that year, he has improved his batting average and slugging percentage in four straight seasons.
Considered one of the best defensive third basemen, Rendon has played in at least 136 games five times in his career, including 146 last season. He missed 14 games in April due to a left elbow contusion and also missed the All-Star Game, opting to rehab minor injuries to his left quad and hamstring.
Agent Scott Boras represents Rendon, Stephen Strasburg (who reached a new deal with the Nationals on Monday) and Cole. The combined value of those contracts is $814 million.
Information from ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez was used in this report.
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