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Anthony Rendon signs a 7-year, $245 million deal with Angels: report

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.

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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.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019 file photo, Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon throws out Houston Astros' George Springer during the third inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series in Houston. Third baseman Anthony Rendon and the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a $245 million, seven-year contract a person with direct knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019 file photo, Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon throws out Houston Astros' George Springer during the third inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series in Houston. Third baseman Anthony Rendon and the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a $245 million, seven-year contract a person with direct knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File) (David J. Phillip/AP)

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.

In an interview with NBC Sports Washington, Nats owner Mark Lerner said that the team could not afford both Strasburg and Rendon.

This is the second superstar the Nationals have let walk. Before the start of the 2019 season, Bryce Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million deal with the division rival Phillies.

Rendon’s departure weakens the Nationals’ chances in the NL East, not to mention the postseason, especially with the significant reinforcements made by both the Braves and Phillies.

The Mets, meanwhile, reportedly replaced fireballing starter Zack Wheeler with Michael Wacha on an incentive-laden deal. Wheeler will suit up with the Phillies next year.

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