CLEVELAND -- Nolan Arenado and Anthony Rendon are forever running parallel. They entered the league together in 2013. They are always synced in discussions about the National League’s best third baseman (along with Kris Bryant). Their contractual situation is even intertwined.
Arenado was able to resolve his when he signed an eight-year, $260 million extension Feb. 26. That mark is sure to be used in Rendon’s petering extension talks with the Nationals. It’s a benchmark. Rendon’s agent, Scott Boras, will bring it up.
Signing the extension turned out to be easy for Arenado. He agreed to terms amid a climate shift from testing the free market to taking decent deals before hitting free agency. The winters Bryce Harper and Manny Machado slogged through alarmed many in the industry. Arenado said he watched those situations, but also was able to find a solution because Colorado came with such a potent offer.
“I think I did it based on what felt right,” Arenado told NBC Sports Washington. “They came with an offer that’s hard to refuse. There were a lot of things I appreciate that I felt like were good for me as a player. Obviously I’m comfortable in Colorado. All those things came into play. They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. It was hard to turn down. It was just all those things put together and the respect they showed me, is what I really appreciated.”
Arenado now owns the fifth-largest contract in the league. He can become a free agent in 2027 when he will be 36 years old. He could be carving a path to the Hall of Fame during the life of the deal.
Rendon is churning through the process during his best professional season. He’s a year older than Arenado and just as valuable to his current team -- if not more so. So, what would Arenado tell Rendon if asked for advice?
“I would tell Rendon, well, obviously, do what you want,” Arenado said. “Which he’s going to do. I think Anthony Rendon is a star player. He’s one of the best players in this game. I think he’s going to be just fine in free agency, personally. I think he’s just that good.
“He’s one of my favorite — probably my favorite third baseman to watch in this game. I think any team is going to want him. I don’t think he needs to freak out about it at all. I know free agency hasn’t been great. [But] players like Anthony Rendon don’t come around too often, so I think when he comes around, a lot of teams are going to jump on him.
“He’s just going to try to do what’s best for him and his family, and if he stays...hopefully [they] try to figure that out. If not, it’s Anthony Rendon. He’s going to be just fine.”
The last part seems to be Rendon’s approach throughout. In spring training, he said, “If it happens, it happens, if it doesn’t it doesn’t.”
Colorado found a way to make it happen with Arenado by making him an offer he couldn’t decline. Will Washington do that with Rendon?
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