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Anthony Rendon reportedly agrees to seven-year, $245 million deal with Angels

Anthony Rendon reportedly agrees to seven-year, $245 million deal with Angels

SAN DIEGO -- "One or the other" is no longer a suggestion. It’s reality.

Anthony Rendon has left. He reportedly signed a seven-year, $245 million deal on Wednesday with the Los Angeles Angels. His time with the Nationals is over after 10 years in the organization.

Rendon’s contract would have pushed the Nationals past the competitive balance tax. The $208 million threshold remains a barrier for the organization. In this case, it forces a pivot.

Josh Donaldson is the only high-end third baseman remaining on the free agent market. Washington needs him, and Rendon’s departure just raised the price. Donaldson’s contract terms will be shorter and more palatable -- think four years, $100 million -- but he is not Rendon in both skill and personality. 

So, gone is a 2019 MVP finalist who was also finally named an All-Star. He is a World Series champion. He was an affable teammate and pleasant presence at the Nationals’ baseball youth academy. For seven years, he was the Nationals’ third baseman and among the best in the league at the position.

Rendon’s best season came along with the team’s, turning 2019 into a wondrous outcome both personally and professionally. Rendon set career-highs in WAR, OPS-plus, home runs, RBIs and total bases. His defense at third was again Gold-Glove caliber. All the while, he moved toward free agency, his future uncertain but the unknown also leaving him unfazed.

He joins Bryce Harper as homegrown products to depart via free agency. The Nationals climbed from new organization trying to find their way to powerful major-league force because of player development. Now, as the defending World Series champion, Washington is fighting the battles of retainment. Major League Baseball’s system allows suppressive salaries to start careers. Eventually, the best players need to be paid somewhere. For Rendon, that turned out to be outside of Washington.

Rendon leaving will be part of the Lerner’s legacy as owners -- just like Harper moving on. Washington’s franchise carries one of the league’s highest valuations. Its ownership group is among the richest in baseball. They spend a lot annually. However, they stop short of excess. The model has served them well thus far.

But, Rendon leaving is different than Harper moving on. Washington had a clear succession plan in place when Harper left. This will be a scramble to a short-term solution. They will still have to pay in prospects or cash. No one in-house is ready to handle the position. Which brings a question of value.

Ultimately, the Nationals saw more value in Stephen Strasburg. The amount offered to him -- deferred money aside for the moment -- is close to what was necessary for Rendon. Managing principal owner Mark Lerner stated it was one or the other. He turned out to be telling the truth, then following through with an early choice.

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Sean Doolittle's wife, Eireann Dolan, tweets about Astros' scandal

Sean Doolittle's wife, Eireann Dolan, tweets about Astros' scandal

Sean Doolittle's wife, Eireann Dolan, eviscerated the Houston Astros on Twitter Saturday afternoon in the wake of MLB's findings that the Astros systematically stole signs throughout the 2017 season, pointing out in her tweets what the scandal did to the Astros' opponents throughout the league that season.

Dolan pointed out that a large number of pitchers were scrutinized for poor performances against the Astros during the 2017 season, asking what those numbers would have done to their future earnings - not to mention mental state.

In 2017, the Astros led Major League Baseball in hits (1581), runs (896), doubles (346), RBI (854) as well as team batting average (.282) during the 162-game season en route to winning the 2017 World Series.

Doolittle reacted to the news of MLB's findings on Thursday on Twitter, thanking those who came forward to bring the sign-stealing allegations to light. The Astros fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch last week and Carlos Beltran and Alex Cora lost their jobs with the Mets and Red Sox over the scandal.

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Mike Rizzo shows off World Series trophy at Maryland basketball game

Mike Rizzo shows off World Series trophy at Maryland basketball game

The Washington Nationals aren't tired of showing off their World Series success, and for good reason. 

It's been a few months since the Nats won their first-ever title, but flaunting the Commissioner's Trophy simply never gets old. 

General Manager Mike Rizzo showed off the silverware in College Park on Saturday during an intermission in the Maryland-Purdue college basketball game. 

The crowd erupted in cheers and the band played "Baby Shark" to ring in the special occassion. It's always nice to see Terrapin fan favorite and SportsCenter host Scott Van Pelt in attendance there too. 

In a bad week for baseball in the wake of widespread cheating allegations, it's a good sight to see the good parts of the game being celebrated. 

Keep showing that thing off, Nationals!

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