LA Angels made big mistake in signing Anthony Rendon to mega deal

Anthony Rendon, LA Angels. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Anthony Rendon, LA Angels. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

When Anthony Rendon was declared out for the season for the LA Angels, there was a lot going through my head.

I first was worried for his health and his family of course, as that’s always most important. But afterwards, I wondered if this was the nail in the coffin on the Angels’ season, how the Angels were going to deal with a hole at third base, and whether it was the right move to sign Rendon to the team in the first place.

He’s tied for third in the Majors when it comes to average annual contract value ($35 million per year). That’s second among position players in baseball (Mike Trout), and he’s only about a half of a million dollars behind his teammate. He’s in Year 2 of a seven-year deal worth $245 million.

The Anthony Rendon signing has been an utter disaster for the LA Angels so far.

So far in his tenure with the LA Angels, Anthony Rendon has hit .261/.372/.436 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 110 games. That production is not worth an average of $35 million per year, or anything close to it.

Also, out of the 167 games from when he started with the Halos until he was declared out for the year in 2021, he’s missed 57. That’s not very exciting.

Sure, most of those misses (49 of them) were from this year, but despite being relatively healthy last year, his production really wasn’t there.

A .418 on-base percentage, a .497 slugging percentage, and a .915 OPS are all solid, but are they worth $35 million a year? I don’t really think so when he was also batting .286, and only had nine home runs and 31 RBI. That’s the equivalent to 24 homers and 83 RBI in a full 162-game season.

This year, he’s been terrible, hitting .240/.329/.382 with just six homers and 34 RBI. He’s a plus defender, which is something the Angels don’t have many of this year, but his offense has really been lacking these days.

They’re locked into this deal for five more years. Five more years for “Tony Two-Bags,” who has only hit 24 doubles in the last two seasons. He had 167 in his previous four seasons before signing with the Angels.

And listen, he was great in that final season for the Nationals, and was a top three MVP candidate. He was an All-Star, and won his second Silver Slugger. That being said, he was still nowhere close to the second-best position player in baseball.

The Angels still paid him like it, and it’s cost them this season. Perhaps Rendon doesn’t feel the pressure of a contract year anymore. He did, however, put up incredible numbers in the two years prior to 2019. He hit 85 doubles in those two seasons combined, along with 49 homers, 192 RBI, and a line of .305/.389/.534.

I’d do anything to get him back to even just that level, which isn’t even what he was in 2019. At least we’d be getting close to elite performance for the third baseman.

Next. Halos in middle of World Series odds

It’s hard to not grow impatient with how Rendon’s been so far. This doesn’t mean he can’t turn it around, but so far it’s looking like a massive mistake to have paid Rendon the way we did.