Angels lose out on prime Anthony Rendon insurance option with latest Reds signing

Sep 3, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Jeimer Candelario (9) reacts as he
Sep 3, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Jeimer Candelario (9) reacts as he / David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels have an Anthony Rendon problem. That's not new information, as Rendon has been a subpar player who has dealt with injuries in each of the last three years. With three more years and a whole lot of money left on his deal, the two sides are attached with no logical way out.

While Rendon should be the third baseman for this team when healthy, having a viable insurance option is paramount. The Angels cannot rely on Rendon to be both healthy and productive. He hasn't done either since 2020, and that was in a short season. He hasn't played more than 58 games in a season since he was wearing a Nationals uniform back in 2019, and was limited to just 43 games this past season.

Gio Urshela was the Angels' backup third baseman this past season and played pretty well, but saw his season end prematurely as well due to injury and is now a free agent. The Angels have players like Luis Rengifo, Brandon Drury, and David Fletcher who can step in, but none of them are primary third basemen and two of the three could be everyday players alongside Rendon. Drury certainly will be.

LA Angels must add a backup third baseman capable of filling in for Anthony Rendon

The Angels were one team that was interested in new Reds third baseman Jeimer Candelario. He probably would've been the best-case scenario when it came to Anthony Rendon insurance, but the chances of them signing him were always low due to the fact that he deserved a full-time guaranteed role, and was going to be paid like a starter.

Candelario wound up inking a three-year deal worth $45 million. A price that would certainly be too rich for the Angels in the role he would've played. Candelario would've been an awesome fit as a player who can play both corner infield positions, is a switch-hitter, and is coming off a solid season. He was a player the Angels targeted at the deadline, and considered this offseason as well, likely before they knew what his price was going to be.

WIth Candelario off the board, the Angels need to find a different player to fill Urshela's role. They could even bring Urshela back to be in that role if they so desire. Relying on Anthony Rendon to do anything for this team is a mistake that will surely bite them if they don't address this, and with how weak this free agency class is, they're better off doing so sooner than later.