UPDATE: Within 24 hours of posting this article, there were multiple reports that Anthony Rendon’s agent, Scott Boras, was in D.C. talking to the Lerner family about an extension.
Boras met with the Nationals’ brass, and he was, “... seen coming out of an elevator at the clubhouse level following the Nats’ 6-0 win over the Royals with founding principal owner Ted Lerner and other members of the Lerner family,” according to a report by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman on Saturday afternoon, which cited sources familiar with the meeting who told the reporter it was Rendon they were discussing.
What follows was the latest public comments from GM Mike Rizzo before news of renewed talks came out on Saturday...
In a Washington Post article by Jesse Dougherty last week, Washington Nationals’ infielder Anthony Rendon talked once again about the chances of an extension that will keep him a National beyond this season, telling the WaPost writer, “[n]egotiations with Washington are ‘out of my hands,’” but if the team makes an offer that works for both sides, he remains open to the possibility.
“I’m not going to be the one going out and trying to pursue it,” Rendon said.
“At this point, if they present something and both sides are happy, then cool. If not and it doesn’t happen, then no hard feelings.”
Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo reiterated last month that the Nationals too would like to get their 2011 1st Round pick signed long-term, telling 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies what he has been saying all along.
“We’re aggressively trying to sign Anthony Rendon,” Rizzo explained.
“We’d love to have him here as a National long-term, and as far as negotiations themselves go, I’m not going to comment on that, but we’d like to have him here.”
Talking about Rendon again last week in Miami, Rizzo told the WaPost’s Dougherty the two sides continue to talk:
“We’ve had discussions throughout the year, and we’ve traded proposals back and forth; we haven’t had a deal yet. We certainly would embrace if we can get a deal done. We certainly continue to talk, and we’ll see where it leads us down the road.”
In Rizzo’s latest visit with the Sports Junkies, he told the 106.7 the FAN hosts Rendon and his agent know how the Nationals feel about the 29-year-old infielder.
“We respect him greatly,” Rizzo said.
“We drafted him, we signed him, we developed him, we brought him to the big leagues, we watched him become an All-Star-caliber player for our team and we’ve treated him and every other player that walks into that clubhouse with great respect and great admiration, and this is no different.
”Anthony Rendon, I can guarantee you, knows that Mike Rizzo and the Nationals respect him, love him, and want him to sign an extension and be back with the Nationals for the long term. If his agent doesn’t know that, then he’s not paying attention. But he knows.
“And like I said, we’ve got a good rapport. Anthony and I have a great relationship. Always have and always will.”
And the relationship with Rendon’s agent, Scott Boras, with whom the Nationals have made numerous deals over the years?
Could Rizzo take Boras at his word if he were to, say, ask if Rendon’s just determined to go to free agency next winter and see what the market has to offer?
“Yeah, I think you have to take him for his word,” the GM said.
“I’ve done a lot of business with him over the years and we’ve done a lot of deals together and I think that the important thing to know is that agents — they don’t speak on their own behalf, they’re speaking on the behalf of their client.
“So you assume that offers and discussions are taken to the player, and the player ultimately makes the final decision.
”Now, agents and representatives can kind of guide him and give their opinions on if it’s a good deal or not, so I think that these deals, like all deals, have to be player driven.
”I know that in the particular Stephen Strasburg extension, when we signed him, that was a player-driven deal. He wanted to be here and told his agent to get the best deal you can for me here and get it done now, and we ultimately came up with an extension contract.”
”To answer your question, yes, when the agents say stuff to me, that I certainly take them at their word, because there’s repeat business that we have to do and we have to coincide with each other for years, and we’ve done it for about 25 years and signed a lot of good players together, and Anthony would just be another of the long line of great players that we’ve signed from that company.”