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Odds Favor Nationals Retaining Anthony Rendon in Free Agency

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in MLB Baseball

Nov 1, 2019 · 3:48 PM PDT

Anthony Rendon running bases
Oddsmakers are favoring the Washington Nationals to retain third baseman Anthony Rendon, who is a free agent. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License].
  • Oddsmakers list the Nationals as +150 favorites to retain third baseman Anthony Rendon
  • Both New York teams – the Mets (+350) and Yankees (+500) – are also top contenders
  • Rendon drove in 15 runs during the 2019 MLB postseason

Anthony Rendon will make it two years in a row that the most coveted position player in MLB free agency will be a member of the Washington Nationals.

Rendon may find that the the bucks are greener elsewhere but he must also realize that the grass won’t necessarily be the same shade of green.

If he doesn’t believe that, he only needs to speak to Bryce Harper, and he’ll give Rendon the lowdown on the highs and lows of free agency.

Oddsmakers don’t think that Rendon is going anywhere, however. The sportsbook lists the World Series champion Nationals as +150 favorites to re-sign him.

Odds On Anthony Rendon’s Team For Game 1 of 2020 MLB Season

Team Odds
Washington Nationals +150
New York Mets +350
New York Yankees +500
Texas Rangers +500
Chicago White Sox +700
Los Angeles Angels +900
Philadelphia Phillies +900
Arizona Diamondbacks +1200

Odds taken on November 1st.

Last year, Harper, the 2015 NL MVP, left the Nationals to sign a record-breaking 13-year, $330-million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. But he missed out on Washington’s Word Series win.

Back Up The Brinks Truck

What teams will want to sign Rendon this winter? A better question might be what teams wouldn’t want to sign Rendon?

Rendon led the majors with 126 RBI. He batted .319 with 34 homers.

He’s a middle-of-the-order hitter with better-than-average power. Yet at the same time, he’s a slugger who makes contact. Rendon struck out just 86 times in 646 plate appearances this season, an average of one strikeout every 7.5 plate appearances.

Rendon produced more extra-base hits (five) than strikeouts (three) in seven World Series games.

He’s also a clutch hitter. In Washington’s five games where the team faced elimination during the postseason, in money time – the seventh inning or later – Rendon went six-for-six with three doubles, three home runs and a walk.

Rendon slashed 319/.412/.598 during the regular season. His offensive numbers were 54 percent above the MLB average.

According to data compiled by FanGraphs, that made him the seventh-most valuable player in all of baseball for 2019. Over the past six seasons, he’s tied with 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers for the fifth-best WAR in the sport.

Rendon is equally effective against right-handers and southpaws (1.050 OPS vs lefties; .996 vs righties) and he’ll only be 29 years old on opening day of the 2020 season.

Rendon’s Free Agent Destination

The Nationals have reportedly made an multi-year offer north of $200 million to Rendon, but neither him nor his agent Scott Boras have responded publicly on this matter. Boras is known as a meticulous negotiator. He’s not one to rush into anything.

Boras will likely want a deal along the lines of the eight-year, $260 million pact the Colorado Rockies agreed to with third baseman Nolan Arenado.

Rendon isn’t Harper, who craves the spotlight. Rendon is the type of guy who seeks out a good place to lay down.

Washington’s been Rendon’s only MLB team. He’s comfortable there, and this is a guy who enjoys his creature comforts.

Packing up and moving on is something that just isn’t part of his DNA. As long as Washington’s offer is in the ballpark of what other teams are willing to pony up, bet on Rendon staying put.

Of all the top free agents, he seems the least likeliest one to head for greener pastures.

Pick: Washington Nationals (+150)

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