The Dodgers are among the teams who have met with free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon, who executives believe could be the first big-name free-agent to sign, according to Buster Olney.
Some high-ranking executives believe that the first big-dollar free agent who comes off the board will be Anthony Rendon, who has already met with teams. Rangers, Dodgers, Nationals, maybe others in play.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 3, 2019
Here’s the excerpt:
Some high-ranking club executives believe that third baseman Anthony Rendon will be the first of the mega-dollar free agents to come off the board this winter. Rendon has already had meetings with teams, including the Dodgers and Rangers, and before Rendon reached the open market, Washington made an offer in an effort to keep him.
This off-season, the Dodgers have been connected to Rendon almost constantly.
As Olney points out, it has been reported that Rendon is looking to sign a deal for around five years because he doesn’t want to play into his late 30’s.
Rather than look for a long-term deal that lasts into his late 30s, [Rendon’s friends] think he’s more interested in a deal in the range of five years, presumably for a higher average annual salary.
Rendon’s preference for a short-term deal makes him a logical choice for the Dodgers, who shy away from long-term deals. They are reportedly looking to acquire a third baseman so they can move Justin Turner to first base to improve the defense and help keep him healthy.
The Dodgers have coveted Rendon because of his perfect fit with their hitting approach and their financial strategy. Under baseball operations chief Andrew Friedman, they have shied away from doling out deals of more than three-to-five years. Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner has one more year left on his contract, but he has told reporters that he’d be willing to change position. Turner, like Max Muncy and so many other Dodgers, could move to different spots on the field according to the needs of the day.
Rendon, 29, has been considered one of the most underrated players in baseball until his MVP caliber 2019 season where he hit .319/.412/.598 with 34 home runs, a 154 wRC+, and 7 wins above replacement.
He is a career .290/.369/.490 hitter to go along with a 128 wRC+. Adding Rendon to the lineup would be a major offensive and defensive boost for any team that signs him.
It was previously reported by Jeff Passan that Andrew Friedman loves Rendon more than any free agent who has been available in his Dodgers’ tenure.
It would appear there is a good chance Rendon is playing his home games in Los Angeles next season.