It looks like Washington Nationals are set to lose both Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg in the MLB off-season. Both have held talks with different teams this week if the latest American media reports are to be believed. While Rendon is reportedly in discussions with both Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers, things are pretty straightforward for Strasburg, who is one of New York Yankees’ prime targets and is being pursued by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has publicly said that they’re trying to reunite both Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg, but it seems unlikely how things stand. Rizzo, during the premiere of the World Series movie, said that he did not need to hold discussions with both the free agents, considering the history both stars have at the club. Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg were both first-round picks by the Washington Nationals in 2009 and 2011.
While the Washington Nationals are willing to let both players decide their fate, Rizzo made it clear that they won’t wait much longer as the club cannot be held ‘hostage’ by one or two players. The Nationals had reportedly made a $210-215 million for seven years when it comes to Anthony Rendon back in September. Some rumours suggest that the Nationals could turn to Josh Donaldson (who, MLBTR projects, will get a 3-year/$75M deal in free agency) if they don’t think Rendon is coming back.
Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg both played stellar roles for the Nationals in their World Series win last season. Stephen Strasburg was this year’s World Series MVP, finishing fifth in National League CY Young voting with a 3.32 ERA in 33 starts after going 18-6. The right-hander was the first pick in the draft, taken by the Nationals in 2009 and went 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA in six postseason games (five starts), leading Washington Nationals to their first World Series title. Anthony Rendon led the NL with 44 doubles for the second year in a row and also led the majors in RBIs (126). Rendon had the best walks/strikeouts ratio in the NL (0.93) and made contact with 88.3% of pitches he swung, which is also the most by any player. Rendon also hit for a 1.003 OPS in the postseason to help lead the Nationals to their first World Series championship. He hit crucial home runs in Games 6 and 7 of the World Series.