Citing “multiple sources familiar with the meeting, which took place in the team’s family room just outside the home clubhouse at Nationals Park,” on Tuesday afternoon, MASN’s Mark Zuckerman was first with reporting on the latest discussions between Washington’s Nationals and their 2011 1st Round pick Anthony Rendon, as the two sides discuss a long-term extension that could keep the third baseman in D.C. beyond 2019.
If they can’t agree on a deal before next winter, Rendon will be one of the top free agents on the market come Hot Stove season.
While there were no details out of the latest meeting, GM Mike Rizzo did talk to 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies today about the continued attempts to get the 28-year-old a deal that will keep him with the only organization he’s known as a professional.
Rizzo started by acknowledging that the reporting on the latest discussions was accurate.
“We did meet,” Rizzo told the Junkies. “[Managing Principal Owner] Mark Lerner has been away from the team for a couple of weeks. He wanted to say hi to Anthony and talk to him. I talk to him every day. So we pulled him aside and met with him yesterday for a short period of time. It was a very, very nice talk, a cordial talk, as it always is with Anthony. And yeah, we’re trying to get it done. We’re trying to see if there’s a way to bridge gaps. It takes two to tango, and hopefully both sides want to get something done and we can get a deal done with one of my favorite guys that I’ve ever drafted in Anthony. We had a long discussion and a nice discussion about — I’ve known the kid since he’s been a junior in high school and watched him go into Rice University and become one of the best players in college baseball, and turn into a great major league player, so we’ve got long ties and we go way back together. And we were kind of reminiscing about where we’ve been and the next step in our relationship, so we’re good.”
And the fact that the team and player are still talking is a good sign too, right?
“Dialogue is always good,” Rizzo said.
“Anthony is a very affable guy, very intelligent person, really knows the marketplace. He really knows himself and really one of the under the radar kind of stars in the game. We recognize what we have in Anthony.
“He recognizes what we’ve meant to him. Hopefully we can come to some sort of agreement.”
The skeptical among you will say this all sounds so familiar; the Nationals just want to make it look like they’re trying to get something done; but of course he’s going to walk, he’s a Scott Boras client, etc. Glass half-full people will point to the fact that another Boras client, 2009 No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg, ended up agreeing to a deal before he reached free agency, though the negative response will, of course, be, “BUT BRYCE HARPER!!!!” Where are you on this all? Do you think Rendon is going to end up staying? Will he sign somewhere else next winter?