The Nationals Need to Extend Anthony Rendon Right Now

Nationals at Orioles 5/8/17

Anthony Rendon is still one of the most underrated players in baseball. He’s a reliable defensive third baseman, and a crucial bat in the Nats lineup. He doesn’t like to draw attention to himself, but he deserves every second of media coverage he receives. Rendon is an important part of the Nationals core, and they need to sign him to a contract extension now if they want to reach their goal of winning an NLDS and advancing through the playoffs.

Rendon’s current contract is a one year deal he signed in January. He avoided arbitration and agreed on $18.8 million for this season, so as of right now, Rendon will be a free agent at the end of the season.

There are reports that Rendon’s agent, Scott Boras, and the Nats ownership discussed an extension during Spring Training, but nothing came out of those talks. Rendon has not said much about his future, or if he would like to stay or leave D.C., but the Nats drafted him when he was 21 and he is an integral part of the team. After Ian Desmond left, Rendon took over as the team ambassador to the Nationals Youth Academy and is slowly becoming a huge part of the community.

As of April 17, Rendon has a 14-game hit streak going, and from April 2 to April 13 had at least one extra-base hit per game, a franchise record. Rendon is a crucial bat in the heart of the Nats lineup, sporting an impressive .400 batting average this season. In his sixth season with the Nats, Rendon has a .287 career batting average, his highest being .308 last season. He hit .301 in 2017, so this upward trend is definitely promising.

Defensively, Rendon is strong. He makes difficult plays look easy and the easy ones look effortless and has never made more than 15 errors in a season. His career WAR is 21.9 and was highest in 2017 at 5.9.

Rendon has never been an All-Star, although he has deserved to be one for the past few seasons. He has made it to the final vote a couple of times, but because no one outside of the NL East has heard of him, he doesn’t have the star power to get enough fan votes. Rendon has received some national recognition in the MVP voting, but he has never won. He finished

No. 6 in 2017 and No. 10 in 2018, just ahead of Max Scherzer. Rendon has been a Gold Glove finalist but has also never won. He received a silver slugger in 2014, in a season where he had 21 home runs and 83 RBIs.

Please Mr. Lerner, just re-sign Tony now and take some stress out of this season. There are no strong third basemen coming up in the minors, and the trade/free agent market is too limited to promise success. Anthony Rendon is helping the team now, and signing him to a good extension contact is important to help the team continue winning in the future.

-Arielle Gordon

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