In the 2019 offseason, the Angels signed Anthony Rendon to a seven-year $245 million dollar deal. After the third year, it's safe to say it's approaching Pujols and Hamilton territory.
Rendon has underperformed and can't seem to stay on the field. It's been a disaster so far.
Anthony Rendon's massive contract is holding the Angels back from pushing for a playoff spot.
When last seen fully healthy in a 162-game season, Rendon was one of the best players in baseball. He finished third in the NL MVP balloting in 2019 for the Nationals and was the best player on their World Series-winning team.
Rendon's healthiest season in Anaheim came in the shortened 2020 campaign. He played in 52 of the 60 possible games and he looked good.
The injuries started in 2021 when he played in just 58 out of a possible 162 games. That number went down to 47 this season. To make matters worse, Rendon had a 94 OPS+ in 2021 and a 101 OPS+ this past season.
Rendon is set to make $38 million dollars annually for each of the next four seasons. That's superstar money for a player who hasn't played much and hasn't hit when he does play.
This offseason has some elite free agents like Aaron Judge, Trea Turner, and Jacob deGrom just to name a few who the Angels likely won't be in on because of the money Rendon is making.
Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani are superstars making superstar money. Rendon is making superstar money but hasn't been a superstar. After missing a majority of each of the past two seasons as a 32-year-old it's unreasonable to expect him to revert back to his Washington form even if he does stay healthy.
Had they not signed Rendon or had a way to move off the Rendon contract maybe the Angels would be able to find a way to field a winning roster.
For now, we really just have to hope Rendon is anything close to the player he once was.