Anthony Rendon struggled with injuries throughout a frustrating 2015 campaign. He suffered an MCL sprain on a diving play early in Spring Training, strained an oblique as he rehabbed from the knee injury, then dealt with a quad issue that further limited his availability. Washington's 2011 1st Round pick played in just 80 games total in his third MLB campaign, making just 355 plate appearances overall, over which he put up a .264/.344/.363 line, 16 doubles and five home runs, finishing the year at 0.9 fWAR after a .287/.351/.473, 39 double, six triple, 21 HR, 6.5 fWAR season in 2014.
Having his season start late, and trying to get back up to speed was tough, Rendon admitted this winter, and he said he never really got comfortable at the plate.
"It was really tough," Rendon told reporters in December. "I think that's what a lot of people don't realize. I'm trying to come back and figure out how to hit again and everybody is already in mid-season form. All the pitchers, they're placing the ball, they're not just throwing the ball up there. They're making pitches and even the catchers as well, even the new guys, they're getting accustomed to their own team and they have that confidence going into that last quarter of the season and I'm just still trying to find my groove and just trying to, I guess, be productive at the plate."
Rendon assured reporters then that he was healthy and looking forward to getting started in 2016. This afternoon, the Nationals announced on Twitter that they avoided arbitration with the third baseman, agreeing on what is reportedly a $2.8M deal for the upcoming season.
Rendon, 25, signed a 4-year/$7.2M major league deal after the Nationals selected him with the 6th overall pick in the 1st Round of the 2011 Draft. He earned $2.5M last season. MLBTraderumors.com's arbitration projections had him making $2.5M again in 2016.
The #Nats have agreed to terms and avoided arbitration with INF Anthony Rendon.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) January 15, 2016
Anthony Rendon agrees to $2.8M deal to avoid arbitration with #Nationals.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 15, 2016