Anthony Rendon Rumors: Braves Have Checked In on Star Free-Agent 3B

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2019

FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2019, file photo, Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon hits a two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series in Houston. An MVP finalist and a World Series champion, Rendon is clearly the crown jewel of this free agent class among position players - - although it is a reasonably strong group at third base this year. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

The Atlanta Braves have reportedly "checked in on" Anthony Rendon, but Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Tuesday the waters are "a tad deep."

The third baseman will certainly command one of the largest free-agent contracts of the offseason after finishing third in MVP voting last season with a .319 batting average, 34 home runs and a National League-leading 44 doubles and 126 RBI.

The 29-year-old was a centerpiece of the lineup that helped the Washington Nationals to their first World Series in October.

Washington reportedly offered him a seven-year deal worth more than $200 million, but Rendon turned it down partly because of the amount of deferred money, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Per Rosenthal, the chances of his returning to the Nationals "seem slim."

Still, there is plenty of other interest in Rendon, with agent Scott Boras noting other offers of seven-year deals, per Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post.

That could keep him out of the Braves' price range, even if the signing would be a perfect fit for the squad.

Atlanta won 97 games last season with the No. 3 scoring offense in the NL, but it could lose a key piece of that lineup with Josh Donaldson hitting free agency. Rendon could easily slide in at third base, upgrading both the offense and defense as the squad tries to contend for a World Series title.

Taking a key player away from a division rival would only be a bonus.

Still, Atlanta would likely have to outbid several other teams to make that dream come true.