Well then, this has been an eventful few days.
We have seen some huge deals go down just before and during the Winter Meetings this year. Mike Moustakas, Stephen Strasburg, and Gerrit Cole all got some really significant money sent their way after the last two offseasons were, to be kind, slow to develop at all.
Now, the best position player on the free agent market is off the board.
Anthony Rendon got seven years and $245 million from the Angels, source tells ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 12, 2019
For those doing the math at home, that is $35 million AAV over seven years for Anthony Rendon. The Angels pretty clearly want to take advantage of the fact that they have the best player of his generation in Mike Trout on their team and landing Rendon to man the hot corner for the next seven seasons is a really strong step in that direction. Sure, their pitching staff leaves something to be desired, but that doesn’t mean that upgrades cannot be made elsewhere, too and we have all see the Arte Moreno make multiple big moves in an offseason so we could see them add a starter and some bullpen help in addition to signing Rendon.
As for Rendon, the guy has just posted three straight 6+ fWAR seasons and was a key cog for the Washington Nationals’ World Series run this past season. It is hardly a surprise that he got paid this offseason although there were a lot of contenders for his services including the Phillies, Rangers, Dodgers, and presumably other “mystery teams”. One guy that has to be happy is free agent Josh Donaldson who will now be able to garner all of the attention of teams looking for a third baseman on the free agent market. It is likely he made a little bit more money just by waiting for Rendon to sign.
The big losers here are the Nationals. It had been circulated already that the Nationals did not feel as though they could afford to keep both Rendon and Strasburg and when Strasburg got his mega-deal from Washington, the writing was on the wall that Rendon was very likely headed to a new team. It is possible that the Nats will now pivot to a free agent such as Donaldson or head to the trade market were Kris Bryant remains available (albeit with a fair bit of uncertainty surrounding his service time remaining) as well as Nolan Arenado apparently.
To say that this has been an active Winter Meetings is an understatement and they are not over yet.