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SAN DIEGO — After whiffing on Gerrit Cole, the Angels got the best possible consolation prize, as Anthony Rendon agreed to a seven-year, $245 million deal, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The mega-deal reportedly includes a full no-trade clause.
Rendon, the National League MVP runner-up, hit .319 with a .412 OBP and an NL-leading 126 RBI in 2019. The third baseman also provides excellent defense at his position. The Nationals will attempt to defend their World Series title without their best player.
Adding Rendon gives the beleaguered Angels a player that approaches team superstar Mike Trout’s talents. Despite possessing the three-time MVP, the Angels have only made the playoffs once since his breakout 2012 campaign. They were swept out of the ALDS by the eventual pennant-winning Royals.
However, the Angels still have work to do across their roster, especially their pitching. The Halos’ 5.12 ERA was sixth-worst in all of baseball, hence their serious pursuit of Cole, along with reported interest in veteran starters Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu. But Rendon gives the Angels a chance at an elite infield defense in 2020. He’ll share the diamond with Gold Glove-winning shortstop Andrelton Simmons. David Fletcher, a natural second-baseman with elite defensive statistics, can shift over to second from third full-time to accommodate his new superstar teammate.
It appeared doubtful the Nationals would hang on to Rendon, especially after ace and 2019 World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg opted out of his contract, only to re-sign with Washington for seven-years and $245 million on Monday. It was briefly a record deal for a pitcher until Cole’s reported nine-year, $324 million agreement with the Yankees.
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