Since the Dodgers will not be playing in their third straight Fall Classic, fans are busily watching something else – the rumor mill.
As there is baseball still being played by the Washington Nationals, New York Yankees and Houston Astros, the rumor mill isn’t quite in full force, and most likely won’t be until after the World Series is over. But that doesn’t stop fans from proposing and dreaming of trades and signings that would make their favorite team better.
It seems that one player on top of the Dodger fans’ wishlists for next season is Anthony Rendon. The Nationals’ third baseman is high in NL MVP conversation, and probably will come in second to Cody Bellinger. In 2019, Rendon batted .319 with 34 home runs, 44 doubles, best in the majors, and amassed a 6.3 WAR. Lifetime, Rendon has a 27.3 WAR, .290 batting average and 136 homers. Career postseason-wise, he’s batting .284. This postseason alone, he’s batting .417 with a 1.029 OPS and four doubles.
Rendon has spent his whole playing career with the Nationals, and is ready to collect his first big contract as he hits free agency. The Dodgers, as we all know, have shied away from handing out big, long-term contracts as of late. But they have also been rumored to be a big fan of the right handed infielder, and with the last three postseasons still stinging, be motivated to make something work.
One thing that could be in their favor is that Rendon would be entering his age-30 season. Bryce Harper, whom the Dodgers did offer a deal to, was looking for a very long term contract, being younger. The Dodgers might be able to work out a high AVV contract with Rendon for four to six years.
Of course, the Dodgers currently have a third baseman, under contract for the next two seasons, in Justin Turner. The bearded red-head has worked his way to being the heart and soul of this Dodgers team since he got here in 2013. Andy McCullough of The Athletic has a piece out today discussing how Turner would feel if the Dodgers did indeed sign another third baseman, and if he would move. Mostly, JT is okay with the idea, saying “I’ve bounced around [the diamond] my whole career. I don’t care”.
With Rendon at third and JT moving to first base, the Dodgers could have the best of both worlds. An elite defender and home run hitter at third, and also allow the aging Turner less wear and tear on his body and still keep his formidable bat in the lineup. The issue with this plan would be, where does Corey Seager or Max Muncy go?
Gavin Lux has most likely earned his keep at the big league level. If he stays at second, then Muncy is relegated to spelling both Lux and Turner. If Lux moves to shortstop, his natural position, then Seager is odd man out.
It will be interesting to watch whom exactly the Dodgers front office deems moveable, and who they are unwilling to part with. All we know as fans is that something has to be done to shake up this team and it’s probably going to hurt. But they haven’t won the World Series with this current roster yet.
According to the Washington Post, Rendon already has been offered a seven year deal worth approximately $210M by the Nationals. But also in the The Athletic piece, Rendon was asked about former Dodger Howie Kendrick‘s play as a 36 year old player, and where he sees himself at the age.
“Hopefully not playing baseball,” Rendon said. “Probably sitting on the couch hanging out with my kids.”
That quite seemingly gives the Dodgers a chance to swoop in and make a too-good-to-turn-down offer. Whether the Dodgers actually pull the trigger and makes such an offer remains to be seen.