Baseball free agency is heating up as the weather gets colder. This week we are breaking down 10 potential free-agent targets for the White Sox ahead of the Winter Meetings.
Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals
2019 salary: $18,800,000
2019 stats: .319 BA, .412 OBP, .598 SLG, 1.010 OPS, 34 HR, 126 RBI, 117 R, 5/6 SB
What Rendon would bring to the White Sox
Rendon was in Bryce Harper's shadow for much of his career, but over the last few years you can make the argument that he's surpassed Harper. Rendon showed some promise in his first four seasons in the majors, but really took a step forward in the last three seasons.
The third baseman has hit .310/.397/.556 over the past three seasons, including a 1.010 OPS this past season.
Rendon's arrival would likely send Yoan Moncada back to second base and could make Nick Madrigal an expendable trade chip for the White Sox. He could also give the White Sox one of the most feared lineups in baseball if Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert meet their potential.
What it would take to get him
Rendon isn't as young as Harper and Manny Machado were when they hit free agency, but he still could get more money per year than they did. Nolan Arenado's eight-year, $260 million deal is probably the best comparison you'll find considering they play the same position and have similar track records. Rendon is going to be among the highest-paid players in baseball.
Why it's unlikely for the White Sox
For starters, Rendon is likely out of range financially for the White Sox. He will command one of the most expensive deals in baseball, which isn't the kind of deal the White Sox have inked before.
On top of that, the infield of the future for the White Sox appears to be locked down. Jose Abreu's contract extension secured his future with the team at first. Nick Madrigal's arrival at second is imminent. At shortstop, Tim Anderson just won a batting title. Yoan Moncada moved to third in 2019 and had the best season of any White Sox hitter.
Rendon is too good to not consider adding if you have a chance, but the White Sox are likely to focus their efforts elsewhere where upgrades are more pressing like outfield and starting pitching.
Some high-ranking executives believe that the first big-dollar free agent who comes off the board will be Anthony Rendon, who has already met with teams. Rangers, Dodgers, Nationals, maybe others in play.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 3, 2019
Dodgers are looking at Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon. But while they can afford to go big, word is they have set valuations for each star and intend to remain disciplined.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 25, 2019
Texas checked in on Texas product Anthony Rendon. Also in on Donaldson. And the big pitchers.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 14, 2019