Talking with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Tuesday afternoon, Nationals’ third baseman Anthony Rendon said there hadn’t been much progress in talks, or any recent updates from the Washington Nationals’ front office on a potential extension that would keep him in D.C. beyond 2019.
If the Nationals’ 2011 1st Round pick doesn’t sign an extension before the end of the season, he’ll head to the free agent market as one of the top position players available, and without a deal at this point, Rendon said, that scenario appears more and more likely to play out this winter.
Asked for an update on the negotiations, Rendon said he hasn’t been personally involved.
“Oh man, I’m just worried about the field,” Rendon told Grant and Danny.
“I have an agent. I hired him for a reason and he’s in control of that. He lets me know what talks have been going on. I haven’t heard from him for a while.”
“It was a few weeks ago, maybe about a month,” he explained.
“Whenever they came in town. So he told me. He goes, ‘Hey, I’m coming in town. Nobody knows. They’re gonna keep it under wraps and [Nats’ owner] Ted [Lerner] doesn’t want to tell anybody.’ I was like, ‘Alright. Perfect. Whatever.’ And then I guess he texted me the next morning: ‘Everybody knows.’”
Reports in the first week of July had Boras in D.C. to meet with the Lerner family to discuss an extension for Rendon, though he later told NBC Washington’s Todd Dybas, “I go to a lot of ballparks. It doesn’t mean we’re investing into anything that’s relevant to contract terms.”
“We haven’t heard from the front office in a few weeks or a month now,” Rendon said this week, “and we haven’t had an offer, I don’t believe, in a little bit longer than that.”
And the closer it gets to free agency, he added, the more likely it is he’ll test the market.
“I mean, if you’re giving me the opportunity, and saying I’m this close from going to go car shopping, from multiple lots, instead of staying in one lot, I mean, what would you do?” he asked rhetorically.
“I mean, the opportunity has been there for five, six years now,” Rendon added. “And, still open to it, still all ears, but the closer we get to that opportunity, it makes more sense as a player to think about my family and all these other variables that come into play. Why not look forward to it?”
That’s a good question, honestly. And the Nationals have had time to get something done, as he said. Is there a number that, if it was on the table, would get a deal done?
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. For sure. I think there is a number,” Rendon said. “And we’ve discussed that, and there’s also some contingencies into the contract that need to happen. And they know what that is, and we’ve expressed our concerns on what those things are, and if they can make that happen, then I think they’ll be good to go.”
After all that talk, Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo was, of course, asked about Rendon’s comments in his weekly visit with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies on Wednesday.
“He better call his agent, because we got a counter proposal from his agent on July 15th,” Rizzo said of the comments about Rendon not having heard anything in a few weeks or even a month, though the date Rizzo provided does fit into the “few weeks” timeline Rendon offered.
“He better be in contact with him,” Rizzo continued, “but we’ve been in contact with his guy, we’ve talked to Anthony and his people and we’re going to be aggressive in trying to get him done and we want him here.
“We’re going to be very fair and aggressive with him because he’s one of our own and we want to keep him.”
“We’ve been in constant communication,” Rizzo added
“We’ve had a lot of dialogue with him, we’ve had proposals back and forth, like I said, earlier this month, and in the month of July we’ve had proposals back and forth.”
It sounds like they’re both essentially saying the same thing, really, though it’s gotten a bit twisted into something that might seem like a contentious back and forth.
So, was the counter proposal Rizzo said Boras sent him on July 15th something that they can work with? He wasn’t going to answer, but the Junkies had to ask and they did.
“We’re not going to discuss where we’re at with that, but it’s something that the dialogue is open and we’ve continued to discuss,” Rizzo said.
“Mr. Lerner and myself and Scott, we’re working on it and so is Mark Lerner, so we’re trying to get it done.”