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Have the Washington Nationals “missed the boat” on an Anthony Rendon extension?

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Will Anthony Rendon be the next D.C. star to sign elsewhere after testing the free agent market, or will the Nationals find a way to keep their 2011 1st Round pick.

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Grant Paulsen talked to someone who talked to Scott Boras recently who said that the Washington Nationals may have missed their opportunity to get a long-term deal done with Anthony Rendon before he becomes a free agent next winter, though the 28-year-old infielder has stated publicly that he’s willing to negotiate in-season as long as it doesn’t become a distraction.

But with free agency now just months away, the possibility of the 2011 1st Round pick trying to test the market and see what’s out there this winter seems likely.

“Here’s something I heard from someone who recently talked to Scott Boras,” Paulsen said earlier this week, as quoted in a write-up of the segment on the Grant and Danny Show on NBC Sports Washington.

“Apparently, he told that person that the Nationals already missed the boat on getting a deal done with Anthony Rendon.

“Now, that’s up to Anthony Rendon, not Scott Boras. And I think that’s probably an agent starting to float [interest in Rendon]. If I’m Scott Boras, I would want people to think it’s too late. But he is at least already telling people the Nationals missed the boat.”

If they know they’ve “missed the boat”, as Paulsen put it, GM Mike Rizzo wasn’t showing his cards (to mix metaphors) when he talked to 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies yesterday and was asked about the state of talks with the third baseman, who started the day in New York’s Citi Field with a .333/.428/.691 line, 17 doubles, nine homers, 16 walks, and 24 Ks in 34 games and 145 plate appearances this season, over which he’s been worth 2.1 fWAR.

Rizzo, in responding to a question about how the process played out, who actually made an offer to Rendon when they made it, and how it all works, said that it was, obviously, a matter of first deciding how things fit together when making such a significant commitment.

“We do an analyzation of where this thing should be, how does it fit into our payroll long-term, you have to plug those numbers in,” the Nats’ GM explained, “... but suffice it to say, Anthony Rendon is a guy that we drafted, [signed] developed, and watched turn into a star in front of our eyes. He’s a guy that we would like to have long-term, we’re certainly going to be aggressive and try to make that happen, and hopefully it will.”

“We have shown that we’re not afraid to sign our own players,” Rizzo continued.

“We’re not afraid to sign free agent players. We’re not afraid to spend money on stars of the game, and I don’t think Anthony Rendon will be any different.”

The way things are playing out, however, a year after Bryce Harper and the Nationals talked and talked, and wanted to work something out before he ended up signing on in Philly on a 13-year/$330 deal, has some fans concerned that Rendon will eventually end up signing on elsewhere. How would Rizzo assuage those concerns?

And will deferred money be an issue again as it reportedly was for Harper?

“Well we’ve made deferral deals,” Rizzo said, “we’ve made straight up deals. We’ve made a lot of deals. We’ve made a lot deals for a lot money, we’ve, again, we’ve never been afraid to pay our own players and we’ve never been afraid to go outside and pay free agents. Some deals we’ve worked out have had deferrals in them, some we’ve worked out have not had deferrals in them, and if there’s a deal to be had and both parties can come to an agreement, again, we want Rendon here and we’d love to have him here.

“But it also takes two to get a deal done and we went out and got deals done with Scherzers and Strasburgs and you can go down the list of the free agents names that we have signed, and some had deferrals in them and some didn’t and some worked and some didn’t, so we’re aggressively trying to sign Anthony Rendon, we’d love to have him here as a National long-term, and as far as negotiations themselves goes, I’m not going to comment on that, but we’d like to have him here.”