SAN DIEGO — Anthony Rendon is leaving the NL East and won’t be the Mets’ problem any longer after agreeing late Wednesday night to a seven-year, $245-million contract with the Angels, a source confirmed.
Rendon, 29, finished third in National League MVP voting this year after hitting .319 with 44 homers, 126 RBIs and 1.010 OPS in 146 games for the world champion Nationals. During the playoffs, Rendon drove in 15 runs in 17 games, including a pair of homers and eight RBIs in leading the Nats over the Astros in seven games.
The Angels figured to be a front-runner for SoCal native Gerrit Cole, but when the Cy Young runner-up signed a nine-year deal worth $324 million with the Yankees, they quickly answered a day later by closing fast on Rendon, whose $35 million AAV is the largest ever for a third baseman. Next on the list is Nolan Arenado ($32.5M), followed by Manny Machado ($30M) and Alex Rodriguez ($27.5M).
Rendon’s signing comes toward the end of an eventful winter meetings, which in recent years had been a stagnant affair thanks to a sluggish and late developing free-agent market. This December, however, has bucked that trend in a big way. With Rendon going to the Angels, this offseason’s top three free agents all signed during the winter meetings, as Stephen Strasburg signed a seven-year, $245 million deal to return to the Nats on Monday, followed by Cole on Tuesday and then Rendon.
Perhaps the biggest winner of these winter meetings? Agent Scott Boras, who represents all three, and now has negotiated $878 million in contracts, the other being a four-year, $64 million deal from the Reds for Mike Moustakas. Boras has a shot at reaching the $1 billion mark with Hyun-Jin Ryu, Nicholas Castellanos and Dallas Keuchel still on the board.