For the second straight season, the Nationals have lost one of their biggest offensive stars via free agency.
According to multiple reports, third baseman Anthony Rendon is heading to the Los Angeles Angels on a seven-year deal worth $245 million. That contract is identical to the one agreed to by Stephen Strasburg to keep him in DC.
Rendon, 29, has gotten better with each of his seven seasons with the Nationals. A career .290 hitter, Rendon made his first All-Star team in 2019. He also finished third in MVP voting behind Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich, ending his season slashing .319/.412/.598 with 34 home runs and 126 RBI.
Mets fans should be happy to see Rendon out of the NL East, as he's been a Mets killer in his career. In 110 career games against the Mets, Rendon has hit .319 with 21 home runs and 83 RBI. In 2018, he hit a whopping .397 off Mets pitching, and followed that up by hitting .392 off the Mets in 2019.
Rendon's deal with the Angels should begin to open things up on the free agent market, which could produce even more of an impact on the Mets. Josh Donaldson, who blasted 37 home runs in his first season with the Braves, now becomes the best third baseman available as a free agent. Meanwhile, there have been rumors that the Cubs have been looking to trade Kris Bryant, and the Phillies have been linked to the Cubs in those reports.
The Nationals will enter the 2020 season as reigning World Series champions, led by Strasburg, Max Scherzer, and Juan Soto. But after losing Bryce Harper to the Phillies last offseason, the Nationals are now down another big piece in Rendon.