Texas Rangers: What could signing Anthony Rendon do for the club?
Rumors have been swirling around the baseball world about Anthony Rendon possibly joining the Texas Rangers this offseason. If indeed Rendon brings his services to Arlington, how does this affect the future of the team?
So far this offseason, the rumored teams in on Anthony Rendon have been the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies. The Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals also have been connected although are likely on the outside looking in. After all the news fallout of last night, predominantly that RHP Gerrit Cole has signed a record nine-year, $324 million contract with the New York Yankees, the market for Rendon has started to take a bit more shape.
The Dodgers seem to be looking elsewhere, and as reported by Ken Rosenthal the Angels are looking into Josh Donaldson. Donaldson seems to be a better fit in Anaheim as the Angels need to capitalize more on the starting pitcher market than the third base market. Both of those notes could mean Texas has the inside track at bringing the 29-year old back to the Lone Star State.
Rendon’s Hypothetical Signing
Alright, so let’s say it happens and the Rangers deal out a big contract for Rendon. For the sake of this analysis, we’ll assume he signs a deal in the seven-year, $245 million range. He’ll come to Texas and help open the new ballpark and new era of Rangers baseball. Awesome. Now let’s look to the future. We’ll look at a pivotal three years down the line, as bad contracts expire and prospects begin to take their next steps.
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Rangers Plus Rendon Three Years Later
Fast forward and 2023 has arrived. Rendon is now 32 years old. Rougned Odor’s tenure with the Rangers has ended after the horrific contract that he signed and we have Josh Jung, Davis Wendzel, Sherten Apostel and others knocking on the door. What happens from here? Could Jung take over third base from Rendon? Now, that seems far fetched, right? Not so much. Rendon has played a quality second base before in his career, and with Odor gone, why not shift him back to the right side of the infield. More than likely, Elvis Andrus will still be our starting shortstop, so a middle infield of Andrus-Rendon doesn’t seem so bad defensively.
How About Future Rendon’s Offense?
According to Baseball Reference, Rendon has gotten progressively better each year he has been in the big leagues. Over the past three seasons (2017-2019), Rendon has seen his average go from .301 to .319, as well as seen his RBI total increase from 100 to 126. His power production has increased, seeing his home run total go from 24-25 a year to hitting 34 in 2019. His 2019 slugging percentage was a few ticks under .600, and he has played at least 135 games in each of the last three years. He’s been durable, productive and looks to be trending upwards into the middle of his prime. It looks to be sustainable heading into his mid-to-late 30’s.
If the Rangers sign Rendon, fans shouldn’t fret a decline in production. Fans should get excited. Very excited. The future is brighter in the heart of Texas with Rendon helping pave the way, and ridding the payroll of awful contracts and mediocre play like Odor’s of late. Rendon to Texas would be huge for the Rangers, the future of the team, and a fan base desperately seeking a successful World Series title. And who knows, Rendon looks like he could be an Adrian Beltre type in the near future.