Anthony Rendon, the new Los Angeles Angels third baseman, recently signed for 7 years,/ $245 million. I’ve heard many variations of “he’s not worth that”. Let me shed some light on this for you.
As mentioned, Rendon’s contract is for 7 years with a total value of $245 million with a full no trade clause. The Dodgers and Nationals were also in the hunt to sign, but came up a tad short. To compare to other full time third basemen, he’s tied Nolan for the top spot on yearly salary at $35 million per year with Machado a close third at $32 million per year.
Seems like a lot of money for a guy that the average fan isn’t aware of. Let’s break down arguably the top three third basemen from last year and Rendon:
Alex Bregman: .296/.423/.592/1.015--------41 HR/112RBI 8.4 WAR
Nolan Arenado: .315/.379/.583/.962---------41HR/118RBI 5.7 WAR
Euegnio Suarez: .271/.358/.572/.930-------49HR/103RBI/4.5 WAR
Anthony Rendon: .319/.412/.598/1.010------34HR/126RBI/6.3 WAR
As you can see, Rendon was either first or second in every stat other than home runs. For those wondering what Bregman is making, last year he signed a 5 year $100 million, which might be the best contract in the majors.
For the last ten years, the Angels with Mike Trout have struggled to compete, with the exception of the first place finish in 2014. They extended Trout last year to a 12 year $426 million contract which puts him at roughly $37 million per year. Why is this important and what impact does this have on Rendon? Trout is the best player possibly ever. It’s important to keep him happy because he chose to take a paycut (I can’t believe a pay cut it $426 million) to stay with the Angels which has come under some scrutiny. Some people don’t believe that Trout is a winner, but what you have to realize is that baseball is not a sport that one player can have an impact on a game like the NBA or NFL. He can go 5/5 with 5 home runs and his team can still lose 6-5. In order for his “pay cut” to make sense, the Angels are under the microscope to make some moves.
Another thread to this contract is that the aforementioned Trout makes $37 million per year. This is a great bargaining chip for the owners now because they can point to that contract and say to their possible free agent signings “you’re not Trout” and cap what they make. This is important with players like Mookie Betts coming up for a contract.
How do the Halos look now with Rendon? The offense and defense are strong. Pujols, La Stella, Simmons, Stassi, Ohtani, and Justin Upton are all at least average hitters and plus defenders. Jo Adell, a top outfield five prospect, should be called up this year and will provide another strong presence in the line up. They need to fix their pitching however. I don’t think they can rely on Ohtani to be a consistent pitcher, and feature Dylan Bundy and Andrew Heaney.
Was Rendon worth it? Yes. He backs up his 70 grade hitting with his 65 grade defense which to me makes him one of the best players in the game today. The value of his contract is in line with other players at his position. I sincerely hope that the Halos can get some pitching, because we need Mike Trout to get a title to shut these old heads up.