Nationals 'aggressively trying' to sign Anthony Rendon to long-term contract extension

Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon is thus far enjoying an excellent 2019 season: 

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Anthony Rendon WAS • 3B • 6

As well, he leads the NL in doubles, and he also boasts an OPS+ of 189. For his career, the 29-year-old Rendon owns an OPS+ of 123, and that's in addition to more often than not grading out as a defensive asset at third base. He's eligible free agency this coming offseason, and the Nationals are now on record as wanting to keep him for 2020 and beyond: 

This is a timely public comment by Rizzo in that it comes after Rendon's agent, Scott Boras, reportedly said not long ago that the window is closed for an extension. That wouldn't be an unusual stance, since many players are loath to talk contract during the season. However, it may also be an attempt to ramp up Rendon's leverage in the talks that Rizzo implies are ongoing. 

The 2019 season has been a disappointment to date, and this of course follows the profoundly disappointing 2018 campaign. Given that and the offseason departure of Bryce Harper, Rizzo certainly has the cover he needs to undertake a rebuilding process, but he doesn't seem inclined to go that route. Locking up Rendon to go alongside the rotation front of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin and young position players like Juan Soto, Victor Robles, and Trea Turner would theoretically put the Nationals in a good spot, at least for the mid-term. 

Of course, finding themselves in a good spot would require that the Nationals live up to expectations, which is something they haven't come close to doing since Dusty Baker was run off. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for and He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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