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Anthony Rendon Rumors: Strasburg Trying to Convince Star to Sign with Nationals

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIIDecember 11, 2019

Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon stands on deck during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, in Washington. The Nationals won 10-7. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Washington Nationals re-signed Stephen Strasburg Monday on a record-breaking seven-year, $245 million deal, and MASNsports.com's Mark Zuckerman reported Tuesday that the All-Star starting pitcher has now turned his attention toward free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon returning to Washington as well.

From Zuckerman: "The World Series MVP and new recipient of the largest contract ever given to a pitcher has been actively trying to convince Rendon to return to Washington while also encouraging the Nationals front office to do everything possible to bring the star third baseman back, according to a source who has been in touch with Strasburg."

Strasburg and Rendon were crucial pieces in Washington winning its first World Series title in franchise history last season. Strasburg was named World Series MVP after becoming the first pitcher in league history to post a 5-0 playoff record, while Rendon came up clutch time and time again the plate:

Sam Fortier @Sam4TR

Anthony Rendon's plate appearances in the 7th inning or later of the Nationals' five elimination games this season: Walk, double, home run, double, home run, double, home run

In the regular season, Rendon led MLB with 126 RBI and the National League with 44 doubles. The 29-year-old batted .319/.412/.598 with 34 home runs across 146 games, earning his first All-Star nod.

Strasburg opted out of his contract, and then he and Rendon rejected the Nats' qualifying offers to become free agents.

Before Strasburg re-signed, Nationals owner Mark Lerner told NBC Sports Washington (h/t ESPN) that the club could "only afford" to keep either Strasburg or Rendon but not both. 

"They're huge numbers," Lerner said. "We already have a really large payroll to begin with. ... It's not up to us. We can give them a great offer, which we've done to both of those players. They're great people. We'd be delighted if they stay. But it's not up to us; it's up to them. That's why they call it free agency."

Sunday, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal relayed what Rendon's price tag might be: 

"Rendon has spoken of retiring at 35, but Boras is asking for seven-year proposals that would take the third baseman through his age 36 season, according to officials with two of his suitors. As I wrote earlier this week, Rendon almost certainly will want to top the guarantee Nolan Arenado landed in his extension with the Rockies without the benefit of free agency — $234 million."

With winter meetings underway in San Diego this week, rumors about potential suitors for Rendon are heating up: 

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

Nats GM Mike Rizzo excitedly said they feel they got their “big fish” back in Strasburg. They don’t rule out Rendon but it feels like others — led by Rangers, Dodgers — are more in on Rendon

Bob Nightengale @BNightengale

andThe #Dodgers letting teams know that outfielders A.J. Pollock and Joc Pederson, and infielder/outfielder Enrique Hernandez are available at the right price. They have not engaged with Gerrit Cole, but are in on Anthony Rendon.

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

Angels owner Arte Moreno has told folks he loves Anthony Rendon. They haven’t been linked much to AR but word is in they are in.

Bob Nightengale @BNightengale

The #Phillies, luxury tax be damned, are going all in, and plan to pursue free-agent 3B Anthony Rendon. https://t.co/aO2XMU0JPw

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

Braves have checked in on Anthony Rendon. Initial read: waters “a tad deep”

Rendon, a Houston native, has been with the Nationals his entire MLB career. The organization drafted him sixth overall in the 2011 draft, and he debuted in 2013.