WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A day after Anthony Rendon said that agent Scott Boras works for him, not the other way around, Boras echoed his client and relayed their joint willingness to explore a long-term extension with the Washington Nationals.
“I work for Anthony,” Boras said Thursday afternoon in a phone interview. “He makes all the decisions and has directed me to listen and work with the Nationals regarding any contract discussions they choose to advance.”
Rendon, the Nationals’ 28-year-old third baseman, met with reporters Wednesday and answered a handful of questions about long-term extension talks. He will be a free agent after the 2019 season if a deal isn’t struck before then, and the Nationals are interested in securing his future as a franchise cornerstone. Discussions began about a year ago, and Rendon has expressed, repeatedly, that he is open to the possibility.
Boras has a long-standing relationship with the Nationals and represents a handful of their current and former players, including star outfielder Bryce Harper and starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Both players provide important context when it comes to Rendon. In Harper, who remains a free agent, there is an example of Boras’s propensity to take his players to free agency to drive up the price through a bidding war. In Strasburg, there is proof that a Boras client can sign a long-term deal before reaching free agency. Strasburg signed a seven-year, $175 million extension with the Nationals in May 2016, about six months before he would have hit the open market.
In discussing his own situation, Rendon was asked whether he would follow in the footsteps of many of Boras’s clients and become a free agent. He was also asked whether the list of Boras clients who have not yet signed this offseason — which includes Harper, starter Dallas Keuchel and former Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez — makes him worried about not solidifying his future before next winter. Rendon used the opportunity to say that he will be both very involved in the process and calling the shots.
Rendon will make $18.8 million in 2019, his final year of arbitration eligibility, and again will be a fixture in the middle of the Nationals’ order. He had a .909 on-base-plus-slugging percentage last season and, according to FanGraphs, has the seventh-most wins above replacement in baseball across the past three seasons.
"The thing is, what everyone has the misconception of is, they think that we work for Scott,” Rendon said. “That’s not the way it works. I’m telling him how it’s going, and you can ask him. We’ve gotten into some jibber-jabbers before, too, so like, I’m paying him. Nah, that don’t fly with me.”
According to people with knowledge of the negotiations, discussions could continue during spring training. The Nationals have made their intentions known. Rendon has been receptive to them. And Boras has been told, by Rendon, to work with Washington to see whether there are numbers that satisfy all involved.
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