The Angels are about to secure the top position player in the 2019-20 MLB free-agent market after agreeing Wednesday to a reported seven-year, $245 million contract with third baseman Anthony Rendon.
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Rendon, 29, is set to come to the Angels after playing an integral role in the Nationals’ World Series championship run. Washington principal owner Mark Lerner indicated before the Winter Meetings that it was unlikely the club could re-sign him and Series MVP Stephen Strasburg. The Nats later agreed to a record pact with Strasburg, also for seven years and $245 million. Cole’s reported nine-year, $324 million contract with the Yankees shattered that mark.
While Strasburg agreed to defer millions of his contract, Rendon will have none of his Angels deal deferred, reports Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post. Rendon does not have an opt-out clause in his contract, either, reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.
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With Rendon off the board, more third-base dominoes will begin to fall. Free agent Josh Donaldson becomes the hottest commodity, and he is flush with suitors. The Rangers, Nationals and Braves reportedly lead the group. The Rangers offered Rendon six years and just under $200 million, according to Evan P. Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
Teams that lose out on Donaldson might then look to trade for a high-end third baseman, with the Cubs’ Kris Bryant the most likely target. There were reports Wednesday that the Rockies might be willing to listen to offers for Nolan Arenado.
This developing story will be updated.