Rizzo reaffirms optimism about signing Rendon

December 13th, 2018

LAS VEGAS -- On and off for the past year, the Nationals have had discussions with third baseman about a potential contract extension. And on Wednesday, general manager Mike Rizzo once again expressed optimism about eventually getting a deal done with Rendon, who could become a free agent next winter.

"I think Anthony wants to be here, I think he wants to be here long term," Rizzo said. "And we want him here. Hopefully there's a deal that transpires out of goodwill between the two sides."

Rendon has expressed his desire to remain, including earlier this month at the team's annual WinterFest event when he said he was "up for" signing long term with the Nationals.

That does not mean he is willing to sign for a hometown discount, however, and he said he would be comfortable playing next season without a long-term deal. His agent, Scott Boras, typically brings clients to free agency, but he negotiated a seven-year, $175 million extension for with the Nats before he hit free agency in 2016.

"[Rendon's] been in the top 10 players in the game in the last three or four years," Boras said Wednesday. "I think for Anthony, the recognition that he's received for his performance has -- for whatever reason -- not been to the level of [his performance]. Just this offseason, people are really starting to recognize the type of player he is. ... The Nationals are very aware."